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THIS second volume of the Secret Treaties of Austria-Hungary 
offers to the English reading public the story of the negotiations of 
the five successive treaties of the Triple Alliance, and corresponds 
in the main to the second half of Professor Pribram's first Ger- 
man volume. In addition it contains in the appendices three 
hitherto unprinted agreements between Austria and Russia, which 
Professor Pribram has copied from the Vienna archives, namely 
the convention of Schonbrunn of 1873, the pact of Reichstadt of 
1876, and the treaty of Budapest of 1877. The existence of these 
agreements has long been known, and the texts were consulted 
by the Hungarian writer, Wertheimer, in his biography of Count 
Andrassy, but they are now made public for the first time. 

It has also seemed worth while, in a volume like this devoted to 
the history of the treaties of the Triple Alliance, to reproduce for 
convenience in reference and comparison some of the chief and not 
commonly accessible documents of the great rival league, the Dual 
Alliance between France and Russia. These were first given out 
to the world by the French Government in a Yellow Book after 
the fall of the Russian Empire, one of the signatories. Likewise 
the recently published exchanges of notes between the French 
and Italian governments in 1900 and in 1902 are relevant to the 
subject of the Triple Alliance, especially in connection with the 
third treaty, the one concluded in 1902. The essential passages 
of this correspondence are therefore reproduced here. 





20, 1882 3 


FEBRUARY 20, 1887 44 


MAY 6, 1891 82 




JUNE 28, 1902 . 114 




DECEMBER 5, 1912 143 




(a) Agreement between the Emperor-King of Austria-Hungary 

and the Emperor of Russia 184 

(b) Accession of the Emperor of Germany 186 


JULY 8, 1876 188 


Additional Convention 198 



(a) M. de Mohrenheim, Ambassador of Russia at Paris, to M. 
Ribot, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, communicating 
the instructions of M. de Giers, Russian Minister of Foreign 

Affairs. August 15/27, 1891 206 

Annex: Letter of M. de Giers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of 
Russia, to M. de Mohrenheim, Ambassador of Russia at Paris. 

August 9/21, 1891 208 



(6) M. Ribot, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, to M. de Moh- 
renheim, Russian Ambassador at Paris, in reply to the pre- 
ceding. August 27, 1891 210 


(a) Draft of Military Convention 214 

(6) Approval of the Convention. M. de Giers, Russian Minister 

of Foreign Affairs, to M. de Montebello, French Ambassador 

at St. Petersburg. December 15/27, 1893 216 

(a) Count Mouravieff, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to M. 

Delcasse, French Minister of Foreign Affairs. July 28/ 

August 9, 1899 218 

(6) M. Delcasse, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French Re- 
public, to Count Mouravieff, Minister of Foreign Affairs of 
Russia. St. Petersburg, July 28/ August 9, 1899 220 


(a) Draft of Naval Convention 222 

(b) Convention for the Exchange of Information between the 
Russian Navy and the French Navy 222 


(1900-02) 226 


M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, to M. 
Poincare, President of the Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs. 
March 10, 1912 230 


TANIA 240 

(a) M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, to 

His Excellency the Marquis Visconti-Venosta, Minister of 

Foreign Affairs of Italy. December 14, 1900 240 

(ft) Marquis Visconti-Venosta, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, 

to M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome. 

December 16, 1900 242 




(a) Count Tornielli, Italian Ambassador at Paris, to M. Prinetti, 
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy 244 

(b) Autograph Note of M. Delcasse 246 

(c) Copy left by Count Tornielli 246 




(a) M. Prinetti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, to M. Bar- 
rere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome. November 

i, 1902 248 

(6) M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, to 
M. Prinetti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy. November i, 

1902 252 

(c) Definition of the word "direct" in the preceding 254 

(1) M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, 
to M. Prinetti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy. 
November 2, 1902 254 

(2) M. Prinetti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, to M. 
Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome . 256 


OCTOBER 28, 1912 256 

INDEX . 261 







MAY to, 1882 

IN the councils of the statesmen of Germany and Austria- 
Hungary, following the conclusion of the alliance of October 7, 
1879, the question of the attitude to be assumed by the Central 
Powers towards Italy took preeminent place. 2 Neither Bismarck 
nor Haymerle had any faith in the trustworthiness of the Italians, 
nor had they any too exalted an opinion of Italy's military 
strength. Their views diverged only in one particular. The Im- 
perial Chancellor held the reestablishment of friendly relations 
with Russia to be the all-important objective now that the alli- 
ance with Austria-Hungary was an accomplished fact, and em- 
phasized the urgency of a speedy adjustment of the differences 
between Austria and Russia and of giving a subordinate position 
to Italy's relations with the Central Powers. 3 Haymerle, on the 

1 Bismarck's attempts in the first decade after the establishment of the German 
Empire to bring about a permanent alliance of the Three Empires and Italy directed 
against republican France will be dealt with at length in the introduction to the 
treaty between Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia in Volume III of this work, 
together with the circumstances which led him to conclude the close alliance of Oc- 
tober 7, 1879, between Austria-Hungary and Germany after his first plan had been 
defeated by the insurmountable opposition of interests of Russia and Italy on the J 
one hand, and of Austria-Hungary on the other. To Eduard von Wertheimer, 
author of Graf Julius Andrdssy: sein Leben und seine Zeit (1910-13, 3 vols.), we owe 
the most exhaustive and authoritative account which has yet been given of this por- 
tentous epoch of European history. A. C. Coolidge's clear exposition, The Origins of 
the Triple Alliance (New York, 1917), is intended for a wider audience, its purpose 
being introductory. Hermann Oncken, in his comprehensive book, Das alte und das 
neue Mitteleuropa (1917), treats the various problems in a broad way. A useful com- 
pilation of the most significant events is to be found in Arthur Singer's Geschichte des 
Dreibundes (1914). 

2 [For an Italian view of one aspect of the question, see Domenico di Rubba, 
Bismarck e la questione romana nella formazione della Triplice (1917). A.C. C.] 

3 [For the interesting negotiations going on at this period between Germany and 
Russia, see the articles of J. Y. Simpson on " Russo-German Relations and the 
Sabouroff Memoirs" in the Nineteenth Century for December, 1917, and January, 
1918. A. C. C.] 


other hand, being still firmly convinced that Russia's isoTation 
was to the best interests of the Monarchy, regarded Italy as an 
important piece in the game, and wished for this reason to avoid 
any step that would drive her into the arms of France. He 
therefore gave a clear-cut refusal to Germany's suggestion that 
preparations be made against the Irredentist movement, which 
had been flourishing more vigorously than ever since the defeat of 
the Italian policies at the Congress of Berlin. In February, 1880, 
Count Kalnoky, who was on the eve of assuming his post as am- 
bassador to Russia, received orders to consult with Bismarck in 
Berlin regarding the Italian question. In the instructions given 
Kalnoky at the time, Haymerle expressed his conviction that, al- 
though he had no confidence in Cairoli, the Italian premier, he 
nevertheless believed it to be neither necessary nor advantageous 
to bring the difficulties with Italy to a head at that particular 
moment. "Just now," he declared, "the situation in Italy is less 
menacing to us than to the Italian government. The internal 
difficulties, the revolutionary and particularist tendencies of the 
extreme Left, as well as the positive opposition of the Right, are 
on the increase. It is our interest to let them come to a head. If it 
is to be feared that the Italian government will seek a diversion in 
action directed abroad, then we should be playing into its hands 
if we were now formally to raise the question of the Irredenta in 
any form. We are taking measures against surprise attacks and 
attempts to bring about a coup, but we wish carefully to avoid 
identifying the Italian government with the comitati. ... In 
general, we ought not to divide our political resources or to allow 
our eyes to be diverted from the chief goal, the permanent block- 
ing of Russia; these are sufficient further reasons for keeping any 
difference with Italy from the docket as long as possible." 

Moreover, Haymerle felt that the results even of a victorious 
campaign against Italy would not justify the trouble and expense 
involved. The Monarchy, he said, coveted no Italian territory; 
and, to use his own words, "Italy is not yet ripe for partition into 
provincial republics." Great indemnities were not to be thought 
of, while, on the other hand, a conflict with Italy would engage 
considerable portions of the Austro-Hungarian army for a long 


time. If Russia, in the meanwhile, were to begin war, the Mon- 
archy would be confronted by a grave peril. Supported only by 
Germany, she would have to battle against the united forces of 
Russia, France, and Italy. In this connection Haymerle reverted 
to an idea which had played a decisive r61e in the political calcu- 
lations of his predecessor, Count Andrassy, and which Haymerle 
had adopted as his own : the induction of England into the polit- 
ical councils of the Central Powers. He emphasized the similarity 
of interests of Austria-Hungary and England. "Russia is our 
arch-enemy, Italy only a secondary consideration," he declared. 
"Our policy is thus wholly in harmony with that of England." 
He then alluded to the fact that, with Bismarck's approval, he 
had imparted to the British government as early as the autumn of 
1879 the fundamental idea of the German- Austrian alliance, and 
requested Kalnoky to put before Bismarck the question "whether, 
and to what extent, we should further enlighten Beaconsfield and 
Salisbury in order to obtain promises or declarations pledging 
England, in case of a conflict with Russia or an indirect collision 
with her which might threaten our position in the Orient, to use 
her influence, her direct pressure, or, should occasion arise, a naval 
demonstration to prevent Italy from attacking us and to safe- 
guard the Adriatic for us." No matter how strong England's aver- 
sion to far-reaching alliances might be, in this particular case, 
where such great advantages accrued from such insignificant ob- 
ligations, the inducements offered her were bound to prove irre- 
sistible. It could also be assumed with all probability that a word 
spoken by England with the necessary firmness would suffice to 
keep Italy neutral. Haymerle was quite aware that it would be no 
easy task to win Germany over to a sort of ' Triple Alliance 7 
directed against Russia. He believed that Emperor William 
would not give such a project his assent. He therefore declared 
his willingness, in case Bismarck should approve and hold out 
hopes of his support, to enlist England's aid merely "pro domo 
nostra." 4 

Bismarck did not agree with Haymerle's views as laid before 
him by Kalnoky. It was true, he told the latter, that he did not 
4 Instruction to Count Kalnoky, February 7, 1880. 


desire war between Austria-Hungary and Italy, and had not the 
least intention of stirring up trouble. He insisted, however, that 
the cabinet of Vienna should make very energetic representations 
at Rome. His judgment regarding Italian policy at that time was 
exceedingly severe: "a jackal policy/' he called it. 5 "Insatiable 
Italy, with furtive glance, roves restlessly hither and thither, in- 
stinctively drawn on by the odor of corruption and calamity - 
always ready to attack anybody from the rear and make off with a 
bit of plunder. It is outrageous that these Italians, still unsatis- 
fied, should continue to make preparations and to conspire in 
every direction. On the one hand the Irredenta, on the other 
machinations in Albania, Montenegro, and the Balkan territories; 
republican propaganda at home; and, finally, conspiracies with 
the Internationale in London." He Bismarck would like to 
administer to them a thoroughgoing reprimand and humiliation, 
for such behavior should not be allowed to go unpunished. In 
view of the internal condition of the country, it would not be diffi- 
cult to give the Italians a good fright; threats would suffice to in- 
timidate them. "For example," said Bismarck, "you could tell 
them that your boundaries do not satisfy you and that they must 
extend once more to the Mincio or that you are convinced that 
the sovereignty of the Pope is necessary to the independence of 
the head of the Catholic church; or let them know that the Bour- 
bons must be reestablished at Naples," etc. In appraising these 
words of Bismarck's, one must not forget to whom they were 
spoken, and at what time. Bismarck was a realist in politics; he 
adapted his words as well as his actions to changing circumstances, 
and they can be properly understood only by continually bearing 
in mind the purpose which they served. 6 He wished to stir the 
temperate, cautious Haymerle to strenuous action; hence the 
extravagance of his denunciation of the Italian politicians and 

6 According to Moritz Busch (Bismarck, ii, p. 233), Bismarck about this same time 
compared the Italians to carrion crows on the battlefield, that let others provide 
their food. 

In his Zur Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges (1918), p. 18, Otto Hammann very 
truly remarks: "Injustice has been done to many a written or spoken word of Prince 
Bismarck by detaching it from the time and circumstances under which he em- 
ployed it, and regarding it as a general, permanently applicable truth." 


of the measures recommended by him for attaining the desired 

Kalnoky's suggestion for securing England's cooperation did 
not meet with Bismarck's favor. He declared that this was neither 
advisable nor necessary. Should there be a conflict between the 
Central Powers and Russia, England, he believed, would in any 
case hold Italy in check. In support of this view, Bismarck said 
he knew positively that in August, 1879, Cairoli had had Beacons- 
field sounded as to the attitude the British cabinet would take in 
case Italy should conclude an alliance with Russia. To this Bea- 
consfield immediately replied, "with the impudence which he 
alone possesses," that England would regard this as a casus belli. 
Bismarck did not deem it advisable to afford still further securi- 
ties to England, "arrogant enough already." Moreover, as Hay- 
merle had foreseen, he was afraid of giving Russia fresh ground for 
alarm through the bugbear of a coalition, and of nullifying the 
efforts of those Russian statesmen who wished for peace with the 
Central Powers. 7 This, above all, Bismarck was anxious to avoid, 
for he still considered the reconciliation of the cabinets of Vienna 
and St. Petersburg, and the cultivation of friendly feelings at the 
Russian court, to be the chief goal, first and last. 

Haymerle, impressed by these utterances of the German Im- 
perial Chancellor, avoided for the time being any further discus- 
sion of the Italian question; and since the opening of negotiations 
in the course of 1880 with the Russian government made the dan- 
ger of war with the mighty neighbor in the East appear increas- 
ingly remote, there seemed to him no necessity for returning to it. 
In the meanwhile, however, Italy's need to attach herself to the 
Central Powers had grown more pressing. The disturbances 
within the kingdom and the headlong advance of the French in 
Tunis threatened the overthrow of the dynasty. King Humbert 
and his statesmen longed with increasing anxiety to secure a guar- 
anty of Italian possessions, as well as protection against French 
expansion in North Africa and against republican propaganda in 
Italy, through the support of the Central Powers. It was felt that 
the time was not yet ripe for an official declaration; but indirect 

7 Despatch from Kalnoky to Haymerle, February 17, 1880. 


inquiries were made at Berlin and at Vienna. In Germany the in- 
termediaries met with a refusal; they were told that the road to 
Berlin lay through Vienna. 8 In the Austrian capital a willingness 
was expressed to listen to the wishes of the Italians, whereupon 
the Secretary-General of Foreign Affairs in the Cairoli cabinet, 
Count Maffei, transmitted to the government of Austria the draft 
of a treaty of neutrality "as a first step towards more intimate 
relations." This took place at the beginning of 1881, before King 
Humbert's first visit to Vienna in February of the same year. 

"Respect for the status quo in the Orient as established by the 
provisions of the Treaty of Berlin" was to serve as a basis for this 
agreement. 9 Maffei dwelt especially on the fact that the Italian 
council of ministers, and Cairoli in particular, had given their 
sanction to this idea. 10 At the same time he announced, in order 
to make his offer seem the more tempting, that France was eagerly 

8 No information is to be had in the Vienna Archives regarding the mission to 
Berlin, which was undertaken by one Grunert-Gorke. In Wimpffen's dispatch, 
dated December 23, 1880, it is stated that Grunert-Gorke was brusquely repulsed by 
Bismarck. According to Crispi (Memoirs, ii, pp. 1 1 8 ff .) , the Secretary-General of the 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Count Maffei, had, by authorization of Cairoli, officially 
sounded Berlin "regarding the possibility of giving a character of greater intimacy 
to the relations existing between Italy and Germany, and of working toward an 
actual alliance." Bismarck, it is reported, replied to this that " the way to Berlin lay 
through Vienna, and that Italy must above all cultivate the best of relations there if 
she wished to renew the ties of her old friendship with Germany." In the Vienna 
Archives nothing is to be found regarding Maffei's mission in Berlin. It is probable, 
however, that Gorke was merely Maffei's intermediary in Berlin, as was later Hirl- 
ing in Vienna. 

9 Crispi deals in detail with these negotiations (Memoirs, ii, pp. 119 ff.). These 
Memoirs of Crispi (translated by Mary Prichard-Agnetti: New York and London, 
1912-14, 3 vols.) are in part a translation of the work published by Tommaso Pala- 
menghi-Crispi, Francesco Crispi: Politico, estera. Memorie e documenti (Milan, 1912). 
The citations given here are from the English edition. According to Crispi, the Ger- 
man ambassador in Rome, Keudell, was in the confidence of both governments, and 
worked energetically for a secret agreement between Austria-Hungary and Italy, in 
which both parties should pledge themselves to maintain peace. This agreement was 
to have been renewed from year to year. As soon as this treaty had been concluded, 
Germany was to communicate to Italy proposals regarding the bases of an alliance 
for the reciprocal protection of common interests. Maffei was said to have begun 
negotiations to this end with Vienna. 

10 According to Crispi's Memoirs, ii, pp. 101, 119, Cairoli was at that time op- 
posed to an alliance with Austria-Hungary and only yielded gradually to Maffei's 
importunities to enter into unofficial negotiations with Vienna. 


seeking Italy's friendship. A French statesman, he said, had de- 
clared a short time before that the Tunisian controversy could be 
settled by giving Tunisia to France, Tripolitania to Italy: "pour 
le reste, nous nous entendrons." The Austrian government re- 
plied to the unofficial offer with a suitable counter-communication 
drawn up by Baron von Teschenberg, then a member of the 
Foreign Office, in which the idea of a reciprocal assurance of neu- [ ^- 
trality in the event of attacks by foreign powers was eagerly wel- 
comed. It was most decidedly emphasized, however, that "as 
regards respect for the status quo in the Orient as established by ^ 
the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin, which Austria wished to 
safeguard, there must be no discussion of Bosnia and Herzego- 
vina." On the other hand the Dual Monarchy would be willing to 
pledge itself to undertake no campaigns of conquest in the direc- 
tion of Albania or Salonica provided Italy made a similar dec- 
laration. The Austrian government would also be inclined to 
recognize in friendly fashion Italy's legitimate interests as a great 
power and a sea power. It would therefore not oppose an extension 
of the Italian sphere of influence in the Mediterranean if Italy, for 
her part, adhered strictly to the status quo in the Adriatic and 
made no attempts to convert it into an Italian sea. In conformity 
with these sentiments, Austria-Hungary, far from placing any 
obstacle in the way of a settlement of the Tunisian question to 
Italy's advantage and the possible acquisition of Tripoli by Italy, 
would regard such a step benevolently. 11 Further negotiations, 
however, did not follow at that time. Maffei's proposal, if it was 
meant at all seriously, 12 was not renewed by the Italian statesmen 
in spite of Austria's friendly answer. As for the Austrian cabinet, 
it had no reason to press the matter. The conclusion of the agree- 
ment with Russia on June 18, i88i, 13 had depreciated for the Cen- 
tral Powers the value of an agreement with Italy. In Vienna, as in 

11 Teschenberg's note of January 2, 1881, and the communication from Hirling, 
who conducted the negotiations with Maffei in Rome, dated February 16, 1881 
(copy). Cf. also Crispi, Memoirs, ii, pp. 122 ff. 

12 The Austro-Hungarian ambassador at Rome, Count Wimpffen, was later of the 
opinion that this proposal had no serious basis. Despatch of December 23, 1880. 

13 Cf. Vol. I, pp. 36-49. Detailed information with regard to the negotiations 
leading to the conclusion of this agreement will be given in a subsequent portion of 
this work. 


Berlin, it was believed that Italy in her weakness must seek union 
with the Allies, not they with her. 

As a matter of fact, time worked to the advantage of the Cen- 
tral Powers. The French, anticipating the Italians, forced the 
Bey of Tunis to recognize the supremacy of France in the treaty 
of the Bardo (May, 1881). The excitement caused among the 
Italians by this coup was tremendous. Unmindful of their debt of 
thanks to French soldiers and diplomats for their far-reaching 
support of the Italian struggles for unity, public opinion through- 
out Italy clamored for a breach with France and revenge for the 
slight that had been inflicted. Sonnino, the same man who, thirty- 
four years later, shattered the Triple Alliance, wrote at that time 
that Italy must strive towards the double goal of friendship with 
England and a close alliance with Germany and Austria-Hun- 
gary. "No conflicts of interest," he declared, "separate us from 
Germany, while many common interests unite us; primarily, the 
preservation of peace and the curbing of France's lust for power. 
As soon as we have removed the causes of the distrust existing 
towards us in Austria, the accomplishment of an alliance with 
Germany will meet with no obstacle. Our diplomacy must accord- 
ingly remove every suspicion that our policy might be disadvan- 
tageous to the former power, in order to win for us her friendship 
. . . 14 Austria's friendship is a prerequisite to our successful 
political effort. Isolation means annihilation." 

In many circles of the Italian nation the chief responsibility for 
the checkmate in Tunisia was attributed to the king and his coun- 
sellors. Cairoli paid for the disaster with his fall ; the anti-monarch- 
ical movement gained strength; and King Humbert considered 
it imperative to enlist the support of the Central Powers against 
the aggressiveness of the French Republic. After surmounting a 
long line of difficulties among them the passivity of the new 
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pasquale Mancini, the opposition of 
the new Premier, Depretis, and the untiring efforts of the French 
statesmen, 15 the partisans of a rapprochement with the Central 

14 Luigi Chiala, La triplice e la duplice alleanza (1881-1897) (2d ed., 1898), pp. 
23 ff- 

16 Robilant, the Italian ambassador in Vienna, also favored an attitude of reserve 


Powers, among whom Secretary- General Blanc, a conservative 
politician of the Cavour school, was particularly zealous, suc- 
ceeded by dint of great effort in arranging a personal conference be- 
tween King Humbert and Emperor Francis Joseph I. 16 This took 
place in Vienna towards the end of October, 1881. Nothing was 
said at the time regarding the conclusion of a treaty, though, ac- 
cording to Blanc, the Italian ministers who accompanied King 
Humbert to Vienna, not altogether with his approval, would have 
been ready to proceed at once with the conclusion of a treaty of 
guaranty. 17 No move was made in this direction on the part of 
the Austro-Hungarian government, while the Italians kept silence, 
not wishing to face a refusal; nevertheless, the warm reception 
accorded the royal Italian couple in Vienna, and the friendly sen- 
timents exchanged there between the sovereigns and the leading 
statesmen, opened up an auspicious outlook for the future. 18 

The Italians saw fit at this time to try again for Bismarck's 
mediation in Vienna; 19 but he showed not the slightest inclina- 

on the part of the Italian government, as Haymerle, in a conversation with him in 
September, 1881, declared that although he considered the establishment of close re- 
lations between Vienna and Rome desirable, he recommended that the negotiations 
be deferred, lest it should appear they were directed against France. Cf. Frakn6i, 
Kritische Studien zur Geschichte des Dreibundes (1917), p. 20. 

16 In regard to the negotiations which preceded this meeting, the correspondence 
of the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Rome with the Department of Foreign 
Affairs furnishes interesting details. Cf. also Chiala, La triplice e la duplice alleanza 
(1881-1897), 2d ed., pp. 78 ff. 

17 Wimpffen's despatch of December 9, 1881. 

18 The reports, published shortly after by the Hungarian press, of unfriendly ut- 
terances by Andrassy and Kdllay in the committee meeting of the Hungarian Dele- 
gation produced a disagreeable sensation in Italy. These statements were corrected 
in the session-of the Delegation of November 8, 1881. On November 14, Robilant 
wrote to Rome that the incident had turned out favorably for Italy, "for had it not 
occurred, the value of our friendship would not have been realized in Vienna; nor 
should we have received a declaration which could not be improved on for clear- 
ness." Cf. Frakn6i, p. 22. 

19 Wimpffen to Kalnoky, December 9, 1881. The strictures made by Bismarck 
against Italy at that time created a particularly painful impression in those circles 
which favored the rapprochement with the Central Powers. Keudell, the German 
ambassador in Rome, said that "for his part, he believed that Prince Bismarck 
underestimated the weight which Italy could throw into the scale in the event of a 
great European complication." Bismarck thereupon attempted, through assurances 
of his friendly intentions toward Italy, to set Mancini's mind at rest, but the latter 


tion, even now, to take this office upon himself. Once more he re- 
ferred Launay, the Italian ambassador, to the Austro-Hungarian 
government, and gave him clearly to understand that Italy, as the 
weaker power, must make the advances to the allies. At the same 
time he instructed the German ambassador hi Vienna, Prince 
Reuss, to acquaint Kalnoky with Italy's wishes, and to declare in 
his Bismarck's name, that any agreement with Italy, what- 
ever its form might be, " would in reality be always a one-sided 
affair, to Italy's advantage: all the more so because the unsettled 
and untrustworthy character of the Italian policy could easily 
embroil Italy's friends in difficulties." His advice was not merely 
to decline any proposition which might serve to strengthen the 
position of the king of Italy: "your answer should first of all ex- 
press a wish for the establishment of a modus vivendi which would 
be agreeable to the Pope; if matters should get as far as serious 
negotiations, the assumption of obligations by Austria and Ger- 
many should be made dependent on the duration of the present 
relations (of these two states) with Russia." 20 

The leisureliness of the Central Powers did not accord with the 
wishes of the Italian Court. King Humbert was convinced that a 
speedy decision must be reached, and he did not allow himself to 
be diverted from this view by the objections raised by many Ital- 
ian politicians. 21 Disregarding all Gambetta's efforts to keep 
Italy out of further negotiations with the Central Powers, and 
thinking only of the dangers besetting the kingdom from the re- 
publicans within its confines and from France, he resolved, toward 
the end of 1881, to take another step a radical one. He in- 
structed his ambassadors in Vienna and in Berlin to inform the 

continued to be apprehensive lest Bismarck should instigate a modification of the 
law of guaranty. Wimpffen to Kdlnoky, December 23, 1881. 

20 Telegram from Bismarck to Reuss, December 28, 1881. Transmitted by Reuss 
to Count Kalnoky. 

21 Wimpffen's despatches of December, 1881, contain many interesting particu- 
lars regarding the differences of opinion in the Italian government. Cf. also A. 
Singer, Geschichte des Dreibundes, p. 65. Sonnino belonged at that time to the most 
ardent advocates of the new order; he urged the government to take no half-way 
measures, but to make every effort to obtain a strong and positive alliance. Cf. 
Frakn6i, Kritische Studien zur Geschichte des Dreibundes (1917), p. 22; Chiala, op. cit., 
pp. 234 ff. 


governments to which they were accredited that, "without regard 
to certain questions," he wished to join hands with Germany and 
Austria-Hungary, 22 and was ready to reach an understanding with 
the Central Powers even in case the obligations they had assumed 
toward other powers by this Russia was evidently meant 
stood in the way of concluding an alliance with Italy. 23 Shortly 
after this the Italian ambassadors in Berlin and Vienna received 
instructions to begin negotiations. 

On January 19, 1882, there took place the first conference be- 
tween Count Kalnoky, who had been guiding Austro-Hungarian 
1 foreign policy since November 21, 1881, and the Italian ambassa- 
' dor, Count Robilant. It was conducted with the greatest wariness 
on both sides. Robilant was anxious to avoid giving the impres- 
sion that Italy was approaching the Dual Monarchy as a sup- 
pliant for aid. The Italian cabinet, he stated, actuated by its 
conviction that the interests of Italy were identical with those of 
Germany and Austria-Hungary, was ready to ally itself with 
these conservative powers and "to make this alliance the basis of 
its policy." In reaching this decision, he said, the Italian govern- 
ment had been influenced by no momentary consideration of 
either foreign or domestic conditions. Its aim was to strengthen 
"par des engagements d'une nature plus precise" the existing 
good relations, but without haste and without insistence on an 
immediate decision. Robilant made no formal proposal to con- 
clude a treaty; he also avoided indicating, in the course of the 
parleys, whether a treaty of guaranty or of neutrality would best 
correspond to Italy's wishes. 

The generalizing tone of these utterances, which Robilant him- 
self characterized as "not of a binding nature," allowed Count 
Kalnoky to reply in a manner no more binding. He emphasized 
the favorable impression produced throughout Austria-Hungary 
by King Humbert's visit to Vienna, and laid stress on the inclina- 

22 Wimpffen's telegram of December 30, 1881, and his despatch dated January 6, 

23 Wimpffen's despatch of January 6, 1882. Wimpff en declared that these resolu- 
tions had been backed up by the council of ministers as a whole, and therefore by 
Premier Depretis as well; "but they are primarily to be regarded as an expression of 
the personal wishes of the king and queen." 


tion of Emperor Francis Joseph and of the Austro-Hungarian 
government to support the royal house of Italy. As for the idea of 
a close rapprochement between Italy and the Central Powers, 
Kalnoky declared that Robilant knew as well as he "that such 
written agreements no longer harmonize with the diplomatic 
Xisage of our times; and, as far as secret treaties are concerned, I 
shall not conceal from you that in these parliamentary days I per- 
sonally regard them with a certain distrust." If, however, matters 
should get as far as the point of negotiations, the question of de- 
termining precisely the purpose, the tendencies, and the form of 
such a treaty could then be taken up. Kalnoky further declared 
that he would get in touch with Prince Bismarck; he did not for- 
get, however, to express doubt as to the seriousness of the inten- 
tions of Depretis, the Italian premier. Robilant admitted that 
there might be ground for this doubt, but insisted that the deci- 
sion taken by the Italian council of ministers bound Depretis as 
well. 24 

In a conversation with Bismarck on February i, 1882, to which 
the latter had consented only after long hesitation that caused 
apprehension and displeasure in Italy, 25 Count Launay went fur- 
ther than Robilant. According to the information imparted by 
Reuss to Kalnoky at Bismarck's instruction, Launay had begun 
by declaring that the Italian government had made the irrevoca- 
ble resolution "to identify itself with the conservative and peace- 
ful policy of the two empires. Italy stood jeady to give practical 
proof of this resolution, which was independent of foreign influ- 
ences, by the conclusion of binding agreements." Launay had 
then made the direct request that Bismarck draft a treaty of alli- 

24 Notes of a conversation between Kalnoky and Robilant, January 19, 1882, and 
a private communication from Kalnoky to Wimpffen, January 20, 1882 (copy). 

26 Wimpffen to Kalnoky, February 3, 1882. On January 21, 1882, Sze"chenyi in- 
formed Kalnoky in detail of an interview with Launay, in the course of which the 
latter made the following utterance: "Comme nous ne voulons rien de plus que le 
respect des traites et le simple maintien de la paix, tout en renoncant meme a une 
ide"e quelconque d'accroissement de notre influence du cot6 de la Mediterrane'e, il 
nous semble que le bon vouloir de ceux aux quels nous nous ouvririons a cet egard ne 
saurait nous manquer, et cela d'autant moins qu'une ligue pacifique qui s'etendrait 
depuis Palerme jusqu'a Koenigsberg serait la garantie la plus certaine de la tran- 
quillite* et du repos de toute PEurope." 


ance between the Central Powers and Italy. 26 Bismarck categor- 
ically rejected this request, emphasizing more strongly than Kal- 
noky the difficulties of drawing up secret treaties between states 
with parliamentary governments. 27 Moreover, he declared him- 
self to be "incapable of finding a wording which would satisfy all , 
the various claims and prove acceptable to all parties." Germany 
and Italy had no points of friction, but between Austria-Hungary 
and Italy such points existed in the Mediterranean and in the 
Adriatic. Furthermore, there was the Irredenta. For these rea- 
sons, Italy must first win over Austria-Hungary to the idea of a 
treaty. "The key of the door which leads to us is to be found in 
Vienna," concluded Bismarck. "Whatever agreement you reach 
with the government there will be acceptable to us, and will re- 
ceive the most favorable reception at our hands." 28 

Bismarck's flat refusal to assume the role of intermediary be- 
tween Vienna and Rome forced the Italian government to pro- . 
ceed with the negotiations begun in January, 1882, with the 
Austro-Hungarian government. On February 20 Robilant again 
had an interview with Kalnoky 29 and imparted to him, in the 
name of his government, a project for the conclusion of a treaty of 
guaranty. Kalnoky declined this with the greatest firmness. A 
secret treaty guaranteeing to the Great Powers the integrity of 
their possessions would, he said, lay upon the respective govern- 
ments such portentous obligations that "no parliamentary min- 
ister could lightly assume responsibility for the consequences 
arising therefrom." How, for instance, could an Italian statesman 

26 Outline of a conversation with Prince Reuss on February g, 1882. In this sum- 
mary mention was made of the three empires. Launay had, as a matter of fact, 
spoken several times of an agreement between the three empires and Italy: Bismarck, 
however, had not approved of this "new version." 

27 "In a country," said Bismarck, "where the king goes about in civilian clothes, 
his dominant position cannot be counted upon." Ibid. 

28 Ibid. Prince Bismarck at that time advised Vienna in favor of an oral agree- 
ment, and believed that this would satisfy the Italians. 

29 At that time considerable tension existed between Robilant and Mancini. 
Robilant's recall was spoken of in Rome. Private communication from Wimpffen to 
Kalnoky, February 21, 1882. Cf. also Chiala, pp. 256 ff. Kalnoky came vigorously 
to the defence of Robilant, characterizing him as the person best fitted to carry on 
the treaty negotiations. Kalnoky to Wimpffen, February 28, 1882. 


persuade the Italian people that they must fight for Austria 
against Russia, in case the former were attacked in Bukowina ? 
The same would be true of Austria in case of a conflict between 
Italy and France. Besides, Kalnoky concluded, it would be over- 
venturesome for Italy to assume a guaranty for such extensive 
territories as those of Germany and Austria-Hungary. 

Robilant, nothing daunted, stuck to his point. Again and again 
he emphasized the fact that only in a treaty of guaranty would 
full account be taken of the wishes of the Italian people; and he 
declined Kalnoky's proposal to conclude a treaty of neutrality, on 
the ground that no profit could be discerned in it for Italy. With 
remarkable frankness, but all to no purpose, Kalnoky pointed out 
in his reply that it would mean a great deal to Italy to be pro- 
tected by such a treaty of neutrality against Austro-Hungarian 
attacks on Venetia in the event of a Franco-Italian war. The par- 
ley closed with a question from Robilant (expressly characterized 
as unofficial) regarding the advisability of reaching an agreement 
providing for joint action in matters affecting the common in- 
terest, but guaranteeing reciprocal support per compensationem 
"in cases where only one state had a predominant interest." Kal- 
noky declared his readiness to negotiate on this basis, and re- 
quested proposals from the Italian government. 30 

In a private letter to Count Wimpffen, the Austro-Hungarian 
ambassador in Rome, Kalnoky gave in detail the circumstances 
which led him to sink his fundamental objection to a secret treaty 
with Italy, and described the spirit in which he carried on his ne- 
gotiations with Robilant. From this we learn that the unquestion- 
able advantage of being sure of Italy's position in case the Dual 
Monarchy were to become involved in war with another power, 
together with the desire " to satisfy, as far as possible, in the in- 
terests of the monarchical principle, the eagerness of King Hum- 
bert and his government to join the peaceful and conservative 
German-Austrian alliance, and to check defections to the side of 
his opponents," had induced him to disregard his deep-rooted mis- 
givings and enter into secret negotiations "with such untrust- 

30 Outline of the conversation between Kilnoky and Robilant, on February 20, 
1882. Original notes by Kalnoky. 


worthy persons as Depretis and Mancini." To Wimpffen Kal- 
noky also expressed his belief which he had been careful not to 
reveal to Robilant by a single word that the anxiety of the 
Italian government to have Rome safeguarded by the Central 
Powers was the chief reason for Robilant's insistence on a treaty 
of guaranty. "The idea of a secret treaty," wrote Kalnoky, "re- 
garded in the light of the reasons brought forward by Robilant 
during our parley, is, in my opinion, not acceptable; but I will not 
deny that the craftiness of the Italians in thinking that they 
could thus quietly smuggle in the guaranty of their capital would 
in itself be a reason for not acceding to it. I shall not examine the 
merits of the Roman question here; if, however, we should guar- 
antee their capital to the Italians, they must certainly pay a fit- 
ting price for a concession which means so much to them." 31 

Kalnoky's firm refusal to accept the Italian project for a treaty 
of guaranty was received with bitterness in Italy. Blanc, one of 
the most ardent advocates of a rapprochement with the Central 
Powers, expressed to Wimpffen his great concern over Kalnoky's 
unfavorable attitude, and pointed out the portentous results 
which might follow a breaking off of the negotiations already 
under way. When, however, it was borne in upon him by Wimpf- 
fen's attitude and Robilant's despatches that no advances could 
be hoped for on the part of the Austrian government, he yielded. 
In a conversation with Wimpffen on February 24, Blanc insisted 
that "the question of Rome had no bearing on the positive agree- 
ment which the Italian government wished to conclude with 
Austria-Hungary. What his government was really working for 
was an alliance similar to that existing between Austria-Hungary 
and Germany, which would go hand in hand 32 with an Italian 
policy of conciliation and friendship toward France." But the 
purpose of this utterance was clear. It was intended to dispel any 
suspicion that the Italian government wished to make use of an 
alliance with the Central Powers to guarantee the integrity of its 
present possessions, and possibly to take the initiative, with their 
support, in a hostile move against France. 33 

31 Letter from Kalnoky to Wimpffen, March 3, 1882. 

32 Wimpffen to Kalnoky, February 25, 1882. Ibid. 


Kalnoky had in the meanwhile kept Bismarck posted as to the 
course his negotiations with Robilant were taking, and had re- 
quested suggestions from him. As regards the question of guar- 
anty, the chancellor supported Kalnoky's views without reserve. 
He strongly advised him to stand firm in this matter, and "as 
long as possible, to turn a deaf ear to everything concerning the 
Pope." Nevertheless the general situation, which had assumed a 
more threatening aspect, especially in Egypt, caused him to feel 
inclined to enter into a written agreement M with Italy which 
would bind her to the Central Powers for some length of time. 
This, he realized, could not be done without concessions. He 
therefore advised Kalnoky not to stand too firmly for a treaty of 
neutrality. There was no probability, said he, that Mancini 
would be satisfied with such a treaty, which would only gain for 
Italy an assurance that Austria-Hungary and Germany would not 
interfere with her in a war with France and for this she had no 
need of a treaty. If Italy were left alone, however, she might be 
strongly tempted to enter into an 'active alliance' with France 
and offer herself to that country in return for the guaranty of 
Rome. "To forestall this, to hold Italian policy to its present 
lines, and to protect the Italian monarchy from the dangers 
which must inevitably arise from an alliance by treaty with 
France and from the reciprocal support of the radical elements of 
France and Italy, it might after all be advisable to consider 
whether the Teutonic powers would not be doing well to give 
Italy hopes of their assistance in case of an unprovoked attack on 
the part of France." Consideration for Italian self-respect and 
for the interests of Austria-Hungary and Germany would make it 
seem desirable to base such an offer on reciprocity. Bismarck 
made no secret of his opinion that Italy, by reason of her military 
weakness and her limited capacity for action outside her own bor- 
ders, was undoubtedly getting the best of the bargain; neverthe- 
less, he realized the importance to the Central Powers of being 
assured against attacks from the south in the event of a war on 
two fronts. 35 

84 Bismarck had previously spoken of an "oral agreement." Cf. p. 15, note 28. 
86 Instruction from the Foreign Office in Berlin to Reuss (copy), February 28, 


While views were thus being exchanged between the German 
and Austro-Hungarian cabinets, the eagerness of the Italian gov- 
ernment for a union with the Central Powers increased with the 
growing tension of Franco-Italian relations. Blanc and his fellow- 
partisans pressed still harder for the quickest possible closing of 
the pending negotiations. It was an excellent omen for the success 
of their efforts when Keudell, the German ambassador in Rome, 
doubtless acting under Bismarck's instructions, began to work in 
the same direction. Through him and Launay the Italian govern- 
ment may have learned that Bismarck was ready to make certain 
concessions, 36 to which he was also attempting to gain the acces- 
sion of the Austrian government. This was one of the factors 
which contributed to the final triumph of those Italian politicians 
who favored union with the Central Powers. 37 

On March 3 Wimpffen informed his government that in view 
of the blunt rejection of a treaty of guaranty in Berlin and Vienna, 
the Italians had discarded the plan of an offensive and defensive 
alliance which should also include an express guaranty of the ter- 
ritorial integrity of the respective parties, and had decided to lay 
before the Central Powers a project for "a secret agreement, 
drawn up in general terms and based on the observance of existing 
treaties and the maintenance of the peace, with a supplementary 
agreement to the effect that the several parties, in the event of a 
common peril, should come to a closer understanding, and, in case 
of necessity, take such measures as might be necessary for fur- 
nishing one another assistance. These declarations were to be 
reciprocal, but only verbal; their substance would simply be em- 
bodied in aide-memoires which were not to be signed." Robilant 
and Launay were shortly to receive instructions to this effect. 38 
Blanc declared that the chief reason for the general nature of this 

36 Launay's despatches from Berlin were undoubtedly more encouraging at the 
beginning of March than in January and early February. On January 18 he had 
written: "I do not believe that the people here or in Vienna intend at present to 
enter into negotiations with us. They wish to put us to the test and make sure 
whether we are going to stick to our resolve." On March 12, however: "Bismarck is 
wholly satisfied with Italy's attitude. It would greatly please him if an agreement 
were first reached between Austria and Italy." Cf. Frakn6i, pp. 22 ff. 

37 Despatch from Wimpffen to Kalnoky, March 3, 1882. 

38 Ibid. 


projected agreement lay in the hope of winning the sanction of 
Premier Depretis, who was still opposing an agreement with the 
Central Powers. The next two weeks were taken up with the 
spirited battling of the Italian politicians. Depretis's opposition 
on principle was overcome by the fact that the friends of a rap- 
prochement could now point to the fact that Italy was already 
bound by the declarations made by King Humbert 39 toward the 
end of 1 88 1. Now, however, Depretis insisted that an agreement 
couched in such general terms was not in harmony with Italian 
interests, and recommended the conclusion of a defensive treaty 
of neutrality which "should be limited to envisaging a war with 
France." 40 

The struggles of the two parties ended in a compromise. In the 
middle of March Wimpffen notified Vienna that the instructions 
for Robilant and Launay had been completed. 41 From informa- 
tion which had reached him, he believed he was justified in assum- 
ing that Mancini would make the following propositions: "The 
chief purpose of the agreement between the three powers should 
be the maintenance of peace and of the existing territorial integ- 
rity of the three states. In the event of war between Germany and 
Austria-Hungary on one side and France on the other, Italy 
would immediately take offensive and defensive action. In a war 
of the Central Powers against Russia, Italy would observe a benev- 
olent armed neutrality, but would actively participate if France 
were to align herself with Russia." Wimpffen said nothing about 
the counter-demands of Italy. As regards the form of the agree- 
ment, he believed that Mancini wished it to be "as positive as 
possible, but that he would be" satisfied "if it were oral, since it is 
believed that the agreements on which our (Austro-Hungarian) 
alliance with Germany are based depend only on oral engage- 
ments, guaranteed by the word of the two monarchs." The task 
of composing an eventual written agreement was to be left to 
Kalnoky and Robilant. 42 

39 Cf. p. 13. 40 Wimpffen's telegram of March 13, 1882. 

41 Wimpffen to Kalnoky, March 17, 1882. 

42 On March 19, Wimpffen telegraphed that the instructions had been despatched 
on the 1 8th and "re"pondent assez exactement aux indications contenues dans ma 
lettre particuliere d'avant-hier." 


It was plain that these proposals of Mancini could not be ac- 
ceptable to Count Kalnoky. We know that, in view of the Roman 
question, he did not wish to assume the obligation of guaranteeing 
Italy's existing territorial integrity. It was equally distasteful to 
him to hear Mancini speak of an Austro-Hungarian and German 
war against France in which Italy should take an active part. 
Following out Andrassy's tradition, he firmly opposed involving 
the Dual Monarchy in any obligations toward the West or con- 
cluding any agreements pledging it to participate in a war be- 
tween Germany and France. He decided to wait and see whether 
Robilant's proposals would correspond with Wimpffen's predic- 
tions; in the meanwhile, however, in order to force the Italians to 
come out into the open and learn to what lengths they would go, 
he drew up the draft of a treaty reading as follows: 

"ARTICLE i. The signatory parties reciprocally promise one 
another peace and friendly relations. No one of them will go to 
war with the others, or enter into an alliance against them. 

" ARTICLE 2. Reciprocal support in certain questions of a polit- 
ical and economic nature. 

"ARTICLE 3. Should one of the signatory parties be drawn into 
war with a power not belonging to this alliance, the two others are 
pledged to observe a benevolent neutrality toward the signatory 
power which is at war. 

"ARTICLE 4. Should one of the signatory parties be attacked 
without provocation, for whatsoever cause, by a power not be- 
longing to this alliance, the two other parties are bound to furnish 
help and assistance with all their strength to the party attacked. 43 

"ARTICLE 5. Should, however, one of the signatory parties 
become involved in a war with two or more powers not belonging 
to this alliance, or should two of the signatory parties become in- 
volved at the same time in a war each with one or more u powers 

43 Kdlnoky subsequently struck out this article and gave it another wording. Cf . 
the details given on p. 27. 

44 The words "each with one or" were later eliminated by Kdlnoky. Cf. the de- 
tails on p. 30. This draft, written in German in his own hand, was marked as "Draft 
no. i, made before conversation with Count Robilant on March 20." The consulta- 
tion with Robilant, however, took place on March 22. 


not belonging to this alliance, the casus foederis shall simultane- 
ously be established for all parties." 

The duration of the treaty, and the provisions for denunciation, 
which were to have formed Article 6, are not indicated. 

Kalnoky's project can hardly be called a success. In judging it, 
however, we should remember that it was merely a 'first draft/ 
which he did not intend to lay before Robilant. 

The first article needs no comment. Its wording is similar to 
that of many earlier treaties destined to serve the same purpose. 
The second article is only briefly sketched, and, by virtue of its 
general, vague wording, noncommittal. What was to be under- 
stood by "certain questions of a political and economic nature " ? 
One could include or exclude anything here. 

In Articles 3 and 5 one is struck by the fact that the explicitly 
defensive character which gave the Triple Alliance its peculiar 
quality was absent from this first draft. According to Article 3, in 
the event of a war between one of the allies and a state not be- 
longing to the alliance, whether it was a great power or not, the 
two remaining allies were pledged to observe a benevolent neu- 
trality. It made no difference whether the allied state was at- 
tacked or attacking. In drawing up Article 5, as little attention 
was paid by Kalnoky to the question of attack or defence as to the 
strength of the adversary. The casus foederis was to be considered 
as established by any war in which one or two of the allies were to 
become involved with two or more powers. Here again it made no 
difference whether these were Great Powers or not. It is particu- 
larly noteworthy that Kalnoky stipulated the obligation of all the 
signatory powers to participate even in the event that the allies 
should become separately involved in war, each with a single 
power not belonging to the alliance. According to this, for ex- 
ample, the casus foederis would have been established for Italy if 
Austria had invaded Russia and Germany at the same tune had 
invaded France. In Article 4 of his draft Kalnoky only contem- 
plated the unprovoked attack of an adversary; but from its word- 
ing an obligation might have been construed on the part of 
Austria-Hungary to give armed assistance, not only to Italy, but 


to Germany, in case of an unprovoked attack by France. This 
he wished to avoid under all circumstances. 

On March 22 Robilant was received by Kalnoky. His proposals 
did not altogether coincide with Wimpffen's forecast. The latter 
had either been deliberately misled by the Italians, or what is 
more probable the instructions destined for Robilant had, under 
the influence of German representations, undergone substantial 
eleventh-hour changes. Robilant harked back to the interview 
which he had had with Kalnoky on February 20, and again 
brought up the matter of a treaty of guaranty, expressing his 
regret that this was looked on with disfavor by Kalnoky. l Man- 
cini,' he said, 'had really believed he would be meeting Austro- 
Hungarian wishes in such a treaty, not only because there could 
be no more conservative basis than the guaranty of territorial in- 
tegrity, but because, as he thought, he was thus also offering us 
security against all possible subversive tendencies directed against 
our frontier possessions.' As Kalnoky remained firm in his refusal, 
Robilant turned to a discussion of the treaty of neutrality men- 
tioned by Austria-Hungary in February. Mancini, he declared, 
considered such a treaty insufficient. Italy was bound by the pos- 
itive declaration of the Italian cabinet, made in Berlin and Vienna, 
that it intended in future to identify itself with the policy of the 
two empires; neutrality, in the case of such friendly relations, was 
to be taken for granted. 'For Italy, more was at stake than this. 
She had, to be sure, only one dangerous neighbor dangerous, 
however, in a double sense. France was a menace, not only as a 
military power, but to the monarchical interests and to the social 
order of Italy as well. Now that Italy had taken her stand at the 
side of the two conservative empires, she also hoped to receive 
protection and help at their hands against possible peril from 

Robilant, carrying out further this line of thought, now un- 
folded the outlines of a secret treaty, the contents of which were 
to be substantially as follows: "In the event that France, under no 
matter what pretext, should attack Italy without provocation, 
the two other powers shall pledge themselves to furnish help and 


assistance to the attacked party with all their strength. The same 
obligation falls upon Italy in the event of an unprovoked attack 
by France upon Germany." This project coincided with that 
presented to the Austro-Hungarian government by Bismarck to- 
wards the end of February, with the terms of which he had mean- 
while presumably acquainted the Italian statesmen. Robilant 's 
further proposals read: "In case of a war between the two empires 
and Russia, Italy shall observe a benevolent, possibly an armed, 
neutrality; but the casus foederis shall immediately be established 
for her should France enter into action. Should one or more of the 
signatory powers become otherwise involved in war, the others 
shall under all circumstances observe a benevolent neutrality, 
and, should occasion arise, shall reach an agreement with regard 
to furnishing aid." The treaty was to remain in force for a definite 
number of years and contain a clause of prolongation. 

The proposals made by Robilant were clear and were meant to 
serve a particular purpose. Italy wished to secure the assistance 
of Germany and Austria-Hungary against an unprovoked attack 
by France. By way of compensation, she promised Germany simi- 
lar assistance in a war between France and Germany determined 
by the same circumstances. In a war of the Central Powers 
against Russia alone, she would observe a benevolent neutrality, 
and, in case France came to the aid of Russia, she would partici- 
pate actively on the side of the Central Powers. Robilant said 
nothing about a war between Austria-Hungary and Russia alone. 
This, it is assumed, was due to the fact that Italy knew nothing of 
the contents of the German-Austro-Hungarian alliance of Octo- 
ber, 1879, and was acting under the false supposition that in any 
Austro-Russian war Germany would fight at the side of her ally, 
even if the latter were the attacking party. 

Kalnoky's reception of these proposals of Robilant was ex- 
tremely reserved. He replied that he agreed in general with Robi- 
lant's ideas; that he would lay the matter before his sovereign, 
communicate with Bismarck, and then attempt to outline the 
draft of a treaty a trois. To a suggestion made by Robilant during 
the course of the conversation, that the treaty might begin, if not 
with a guaranty, at least with "a sort of confirmation of territo- 


rial integrity," Kalnoky did not give his assent. " In any case/' he 
wrote to Wimpffen shortly after, "I should like to keep such a 
disguised recognition from being smuggled in." He also expressed 
himself to his friend regarding the impression made upon him 
by Robilant's proposals. He liked above all the provision that 
Austria-Hungary should not be pledged to participate in a Franco- 
German war. " From the draft outlined above/' he wrote Wimpf- 
fen, "Your Excellency will doubtless have noticed that the casus 
foederis is not established for us if France becomes involved in war 
with Germany. No such obligation would exist for us even if Italy 
came to the help of Germany provided Russia kept out of the 
war; in the same way Italy would not be pledged to take action in 
the event of a war involving both, or one of the empires and Rus- 
sia, provided France did not participate." 45 The unanimity of 
Kalnoky and Robilant on this point had a decisive influence on 
the further course of the negotiations. 

Kalnoky, as we know, had given the following wording to 
Article 4 of the first draft, which he had composed for his own 
guidance and had not imparted to Robilant: "Should one of the 
signatory parties be attacked without provocation, for whatsoever 
cause, by a power not belonging to this alliance, the two other 
parties are bound to furnish help and assistance with all their 
strength to the party attacked." According to this, Italy would 
have been pledged to fight at the side of Austria-Hungary in case 
of an unprovoked attack by Russia on the latter; Austria-Hun- 
gary, on the other hand, would have been bound to participate, 
not only in a Franco-Italian war brought on by a French attack, 
but in a Franco-German war as well. The last danger was now 
obviated through Robilant's project; for the Italian statesman, in 
his interview with Kalnoky, had not uttered generalities concern- 
ing unprovoked attacks of a power outside the alliance against a 
signatory power, but had specifically mentioned an unprovoked 
French attack upon Italy or Germany, and had claimed Austria- 
Hungary's assistance only in the former instance. This, from his 
point of view, was quite comprehensible. Italy at that time fore- 
saw a menace from France alone. On that side only did she need 

46 Kdlnoky to Wimpffen, April i, 1882 (original). 


to protect herself. This would be most adequately done if Austria- 
Hungary and Germany promised to align themselves with Italy, 
in the event of her being attacked without provocation by France. 

It was the business of Italy's cosignatories to look out for the 
compensating counter-services. Germany had already announced 
her wishes in Rome, and Robilant had taken account of these in 
the plans he laid before Kalnoky, since he had provided for Italy's 
participation in a Franco- German war brought about by French 
aggression. But what about Austria-Hungary? Could he hope 
that the concessions which he was empowered to make in Vienna 
would satisfy Kalnoky? The benevolent, or possibly armed neu- 
trality promised by Italy in the event of an Austro-Russian war 
was no equivalent for the active participation which was de- 
manded of Austro-Hungary in case Italy were invaded by France 
without provocation. He must have expected that Kalnoky 
would point out the discrepancy between demand and counter- 
service. Remarkably enough, however, this was not done. Kal- 
noky did not ask for Italian help in the event of an unprovoked 
attack by Russia on the Danubian Monarchy. 

Not a word is to be found among Kalnoky 's notes of the period 
to explain the motives prompting him to take this extraordinary 
attitude an attitude which brought down on him the censure of 
his successors in office. Even in his private correspondence with 
his friend Wimpffen this subject, for some strange reason, was not 
touched on. 46 He merely closed his description of the negotiations 
with Robilant with the words: "The outline of the secret agree- 
ment with Italy which I have given above corresponds, on the 
whole, very closely to my wishes, and I believe that the scheme 
will go through. We are favorably disposed toward it; so is the 
German Imperial Chancellor. And when we consider the danger- 
ous internal conditions in Russia and the terrible disorder of her 
whole political organization, we must take care in good season to 
win friends and allies on all sides for the Monarchy in view of the 
dangers threatening from the East. Thus, it is to be hoped, we 
shall make sure of peace." 47 

46 For the reasons which may have determined Kalnoky's conduct, cf. pp. 42 f ., 
infra. 47 Kalnoky to Wimpffen, April i, 1882. 


As a result of his interview with Robilant, Kalnoky changed 
Article 4 of his first draft and gave it a wording which took into 
account the wishes expressed by all parties. " In case Italy " (so it 
ran now), "without direct provocation on her part, should be at- 
tacked by France for any reason whatsoever, the two other con- 
tracting parties shall be bound to furnish help and assistance with 
all their forces to the party attacked. This same obligation shall 
devolve upon Italy in case of an aggression without direct provo- 
cation by France against Germany." 48 Shortly after this he began 
negotiations with Prince Reuss, the German ambassador in 
Vienna, communicating to him orally 49 the draft of the treaty 
and explaining the several articles. He gave particular emphasis 
to the reasons which had led him to make no provision for the sup- 
port of Germany by Austria-Hungary in the event of an unpro- 
voked attack by France upon Germany. " I have maintained this 
position in my conversations with Prince Reuss," he wrote to 
Wimpffen, " chiefly making use, among other arguments, of the 
fact that we have no common boundaries with France and are 
therefore in a different position from that of the powers which 
stand in direct contact with her. Our geographic position with re- 
gard to France is similar to that of Italy regarding Russia. If Italy 
is to be able to keep neutral in the event of a war in the East, we 
must also be free to make similar reserves in the West." At the 
same time he informed Bismarck that he was considering estab- 
lishing the duration of the treaty at five years and adding a clause 
governing prolongation. 

Kalnoky's proposals seem, in general, to have met with ap- 
proval in Berlin. It does not appear from the documents at our 
disposal the record is somewhat incomplete, to be sure that 
Bismarck took umbrage at Kalnoky's refusal to promise Austro- 
Hungarian participation in a war between France and Germany. 
All the other stipulations governing the relations of the allies in 
case of war were assented to by him. 50 Bismarck thoroughly ap- 

48 Compare the French text, p. 30, note 54. On this occasion Kalnoky undertook 
a renumbering of his first treaty draft. 

49 Kdlnoky here made the note in his own handwriting: "Communicated orally 
to Reuss." 

60 As Kalnoky informed Wimpffen, on April i, he had transmitted to Berlin, 


proved of Kalnoky's silence regarding the "recognition of terri- 
torial integrity." On the other hand, he considered it hazardous 
to express in such general terms the obligation to furnish "recip- 
rocal support in certain questions of a political and economic na- 
ture," since the Central Powers would thus be "pledging them- 
selves to back all the Italian aspirations in Egypt." He proposed 
instead a limitation of the obligations to be assumed through the 
insertion of the words " in proportion to their own interests." Bis- 
marck also expressed himself cautiously, but unambiguously, 
against mentioning Russia by name as an adversary in the treaty. 
No such mention is to be found in Kalnoky's draft, but it existed 
in the proposals made by Robilant in his conversation with Kal- 
noky. " Such actual bearing as the treaty may have on Russia " 
so Bismarck informed Vienna "should preferably be expressed 
in a paraphrase, not mentioned directly. The former, rebus sic 
stantibus, I find preferable." As for the secret nature of the treaty, 
and its duration of five years, Bismarck gave his approval and re- 
peated that "Austria-Hungary's assent was a prerequisite to that 
of Germany." 51 

Kalnoky lost no time in satisfying the Imperial Chancellor's 
few wishes. On April 1 1 he drew up a second draft, this time in 
French, which he communicated to the German and Italian gov- 
ernments. The introduction contained a solemn dedication to 
peace and to the monarchical system of government. 

"The emperor of Austria-Hungary, the German emperor, and 
the king of Italy," it read, "animated by the desire to increase the 
guaranties of the general peace, to fortify the monarchical prin- 

through Reuss, 'observations' regarding the topics of his talk with Robilant. Prince 
Reuss's reports are not at our disposal, and we can only guess at their contents from 
the summary of a despatch from Under Secretary of State Busch to Reuss, which the 
latter communicated to Kalnoky on April 3. In this we find a passage which for the 
present we are unable to explain: "The other wording of Article 3 desired by Count 
Kalnoky would, he [Bismarck] fears, be too fine-drawn to permit of the establish- 
ment of the casus foederis from it. If Italy is honorable and mistress of her own des- 
tinies, she will realize that it is to her own interest to prevent a French victory. We 
scarcely need anything more than a benevolent neutrality: Italy's resources would 
perhaps permit no more than this. Bismarck considers that our purpose is rather to 
save Austria's fighting forces than to gain Italy's." 

61 Extract from a despatch from Busch to Reuss, April 3, 1882. 


ciple, and thereby to assure the unimpaired maintenance of the 
social and political order in their respective states, have agreed to 
conclude a treaty which, by its essentially conservative and de- 
fensive nature, pursues only the aim of forestalling the dangers 
which might threaten the peace of their states and of Europe." 
So far, Kalnoky could count on the assent of the Italian and Ger- 
man statesmen; in fact, no serious objection to the wording of this 
introduction was raised from any quarter during the course of the 
negotiations. 52 

The first article of the new draft combined the provisions of 
Articles i and 2 of the original draft. The tenor remained sub- 
stantially the same, though account was taken of Bismarck's 
wish, the pledge of the allies "to guarantee reciprocal support in 
questions of a political and economic nature/' as it was expressed 
hi general terms in Kalnoky's first draft, being limited by the in- 
sertion of the clause "dans la limite de leurs interets." 53 

62 On April 27, on the occasion of the deliberations over Kalnoky's third draft, 
Robilant requested, by instruction of his Government, that in the passage specifying 
that the treaty should guarantee its signatories against those dangers which might 
threaten "le repos de leurs tats et de 1'Europe," another phrase, "la se"curit6 de 
leurs etats et le repos de 1'Europe" should be substituted. Kalnoky accepted the 
wording proposed by Robilant, which as a matter of fact expressed more exactly the 
purposes of the alliance, and Bismarck gave his assent. 

63 The text is as follows: "Article I. Les parties contractantes se promettent 
mutuellement paix et amitie, et n'entreront dans aucune alliance ni engagement 
dirige centre Tun de leurs 6tats. 

"Les parties contractantes se promettent en outre leurappui mutuel dans la limite 
de leurs propres interets pour les questions politiques et 6conomiques qui pourraient 
se presenter." 

Frakn6i, in his analysis of this article (Kritische Studien zur Geschichte des Drei- 
bundes, p. 31), has pointed to the fact that "consistency in the use of the most im- 
portant expression is lacking." In this connection he notes that in the case of equal 
obligations expressions not identical in meaning, such as "se promettent, s'enga- 
gent," etc., are used interchangeably throughout. Frakn6i's observation is correct, 
but it should not be forgotten that in many earlier and contemporary treaties the 
words chosen by Kalnoky were employed in the same connection and regarded by 
the diplomats as equivalent. A thorough critical investigation of the texts of inter- 
national treaties would be an extremely profitable work, which would doubtless lead 
to the conclusion that most treaties are lacking in the necessary clearness and pre- 
cision of expression. The use of forms, which played so great a part in the documents 
of the Middle Ages, has had a decisive influence on the wording of later treaties. 
Again and again, single words, whole phrases, and even entire articles have been 


Article 2 of the new draft assistance for Italy from both her 
allies in case of an unprovoked attack by France, and a corre- 
sponding counter-service on the part of Italy alone in the event 
that France should attack Germany without provocation cor- 
responds entirely to Kalnoky's first draft. 54 

Article 3 establishment of the casus foederis in case one or 
two of the signatory parties should become involved in war with 
two or more Great Powers not belonging to the alliance is more 
briefly worded than the corresponding Article 5 of the first draft, 
and does not contain the provision for the establishment of the 
casus foederis if two of the signatory parties become involved "in 
a war each with a single power not belonging to this alliance." 55 

Article 4 benevolent neutrality on the part of two of the 
allies in case the third becomes involved in war with a single 
power not belonging to the alliance is in complete harmony 
with the tenor of Article 4 of the first draft; however, especial at- 
tention is called to the fact that here, in contradistinction to Ar- 
ticle 2, a war is meant in which the ally has become involved " sans 
etre provoquee." 66 

passed on from one treaty to another, even when they were ill suited to the new situ- 
ation. In discussing the question of the ambiguity of so many treaty stipulations, 
one should also not forget that they are for the most part the results of lengthy ne- 
gotiations, and represent a compromise between divergent views. The treaties of the 
Triple Alliance bear convincing testimony to this. Last but not least, one must re- 
call that the obscurity and ambiguity were often deliberately intended by the sig- 
natory parties, in order to serve as a pretext for future protests or claims. Cf. also 
L. Bittner, Gottinger gelehrte Anzeigen, 1914, pp. 458 ff. 

64 "Dans le cas ou 1'Italie sans provocation serait attaque par la France pour 
quelque motif que ce soit, les deux autres parties contractantes seront tenues a pre- 
ter a la partie attaque secours et assistance avec toutes les forces. Cette mme ob- 
ligation incombera & PItalie dans le cas d'une agression non provoqu6e de la France 
centre 1'AUemagne." 

65 In Kalnoky's second draft this article reads as follows: "Si une ou deux des 
parties contractantes sont engagees dans une guerre avec deux ou plusieurs grandes 
puissances non signataires du present traite, le casus foederis se pre"sente simultane"- 
ment pour toutes les parties contractantes." For the wording of Article 5 of the first 
draft, see p. 21. 

66 Article IV. "Dans le cas ou 1'une des parties contractantes, sans etre provo- 
que"e, serait engaged dans une guerre avec une puissance non signataire du present 
traite", les deux autres s'obligent a observer une neutrality bienveillante a 1'egard de 
celle des partfes contractantes qui se trouve en guerre." For the later negotiations 
regarding this article, cf. pages 32 ff. 


Article 5 rounded out the preceding provisions by stipulating 
that the signatory parties, as soon as the peace of one of them was 
menaced, should come to an agreement in due season concerning 
the military measures which might have to be taken in view of a 
possible cooperation. The substance of this article was new. 57 

Articles 6 and 7, too, were not found in the earlier draft. They 
contained (6) the reciprocal promises to keep secret the fact that a 
treaty had been concluded, as well as the contents of that treaty, 
and (7) the establishment of the duration of the treaty at five 
years. 58 These two articles were incorporated into the final text 
in the form given them by Kalnoky. 

On April 12 there took place the first consultation between Kal- 
noky and Robilant with regard to the draft of the treaty. The 
Italian received a copy of the document and promised to express 
himself in detail after receiving the instructions of his govern- 
ment. The first reading pleased him well; he had little fault to 
find with Kalnoky's draft, and his objections for the most part 
concerned the form rather than the substance of the various arti- 
cles. The improvements suggested by him had to do with Articles 
i and 4; these met with Kalnoky's approval. 59 

67 Article V. "Si la paix de Tune des parties contractantes venait a etre me- 
nacee dans les circonstances prevues par les articles pr6cedents, les parties contrac- 
tantes se concerteront en temps utile sur les mesures militaires a prendre en vue 
d'une cooperation eventuelle." 

6 <> See Vol. I, p. 69. . 

69 Kalnoky's wording of the second paragraph of Article i read as follows: "Les 
parties contractantes se promettent en outre leur appui mutuel dans la limite de 
leurs propres interets pour les questions politiques et gconomiques qui pourraient se 
presenter." Robilant proposed instead of this: "elles s'engagent a proceder a un 
echange d'idees sur les questions politiques et economiques d'une nature gen6rale qui 
pourraient se presenter et se promettent en outre leur appui mutuel dans la limite de 
leurs propres interets." It was probably Robilant's intention, in inserting the words 
"elles s'engagent a proceder a un echange d'idees," to lay upon the Central Powers 
the obligation to undertake, at Italy's request, the safeguarding of the Italian posi- 
tion in the Mediterranean. In 1887, when Crispi voiced his complaints of the neg- 
lect of Italy by the Central Powers, he pointed out that this article of the treaty of 
1882 had not been sufficiently taken into consideration by the Central Powers. Robi- 
lant asked for two other changes in the wording of Article 4. In Kdlnoky's draft the 
benevolent neutrality of two of the allies was stipulated in case the third power, 
"sans etre provoquee, serait engage dans une guerre avec une puissance non si- 
gnataire." Robilant wished this provision to be more precisely stated, and suggested 


Keeping Robilant's wishes -bef ore him, Kalnoky drew up on 
April 1 2 a third draft, which he transmitted to Robilant the same 
day, and on the day after to Prince Reuss. 60 By April 18, it was 
learned from Berlin that Bismarck had accepted Kalnoky's new 
draft of the treaty without alteration, and had instructed the Sec- 
retary of State to submit it to Emperor William for his approval. 61 

The reply from Rome was slower in coming and did not alto- 
gether meet Kalnoky's hopes. The Italian government brought 
forward a new draft which differed in many points some of 
them essential ones from that prepared by Kalnoky. The Ital- 
ians also let it be plainly seen that they did not wholly trust the 
Central Powers, and that they were most anxious to secure the as- 
sistance of both Germany and Austria-Hungary in the event of an 
unprovoked French attack upon Italy, without offering a corre- 
sponding counter-service to Austria-Hungary. 62 Particularly 
characteristic were the changes proposed by Mancini and his 
counsellors in Article 4 of Kalnoky's draft. The wording in the 
original draft had run: "Should one of the signatory powers be- 
come involved in a war with a power not belonging to the alliance, 
both the others are pledged to observe a benevolent neutrality 
towards the signatory party which is at war." In order to make 
the sense of this provision perfectly clear, Kalnoky had inserted 
the words "sans tre provoquee" in his second draft. No possible 

the phrase "sans provocation directe se verrait forcee de faire la guerre une puis- 
sance non signataire." Moreover, it was to be expressly emphasized at the end of 
this article that the allies should be free to abandon their benevolent neutrality and 
furnish armed assistance to their consignatory, if this should be found desirable. 
The wording given to this provision by Robilant is as follows : " sauf a intervenir avec 
les armes en faveur de leurs allies si elles le jugeraient & propos." He doubtless 
wished to make it possible for Italy to participate in an Austro-Russian war in case 
her ally was winning and a suitable portion of the spoils of victory was to be ex- 
pected. All these wishes of Robilant's were respected by Kalnoky in the third draft, 
which he prepared forthwith on April 12. 

60 "Draft No. 3, amended after a conversation with Count Robilant on April 12. 
Copy handed to Count Robilant April 12, and to Prince Reuss on April 13." 

81 Kalnoky to Wimpffen, April 18. Telegram. In a private note to Kalnoky, 
Sze"che"nyi had as early as April 15 predicted the early conclusion of the treaty, and 
had congratulated Kdlnoky on his success with the words "much has been gained 
for us thereby." 

62 "Draft No. 4, with the Italian amendments. Transmitted by Robilant on 
April 27, 1882. Copy given to Prince Reuss on the 28th." 


doubt could therefore exist that benevolent neutrality was to be 
observed under all circumstances; this covered the case where one 
of the allies, without being provoked, should enter into war with 
a power outside the alliance, Austria-Hungary, for example, could 
count on Italy's benevolent neutrality in case she were to become 
involved, without provocation by her adversary, in a war with 
Russia or any other state one of the small Balkan nations, 
perhaps. Robilant had opposed this wording in his statement of 
April n, and had succeeded, as we already know, 63 in getting Kal- 
noky to substitute for the phrase "sans etre provoquee" another 
wording providing for the observation of benevolent neutrality in 
the event that the ally "sans provocation directe se verrait forcee 
de faire la guerre." This version was hardly fortunate, since 
doubt might arise as to what was meant by "direct provocation." 
Was it on the part of the ally or on that of the adversary? Kal- 
noky, as it would appear from the words "sans etre provoquee" 
in the second draft, doubtless had the latter in mind. 

The text, however, was also open to the interpretation that 
benevolent neutrality was to be observed by two of the allies to- 
ward the third only if the latter should find itself forced to declare 
war on a power outside the alliance, without having directly pro- 
voked its adversary. But it had been stipulated that, under all 
circumstances, benevolent neutrality was to be observed if an ally 
were to become involved in offensive as well as defensive warfare. 
Now, in the treaty draft which Robilant submitted on April 27 to 
Vienna, by instructions of the Italian government, it was ex- 
pressly stated that benevolent neutrality should be observed by 
two of the allies toward the third ally if the latter were to be " at- 
tacked without provocation by a Great Power outside the Alli- 
liance." w Here was no longer a question of an offensive war on 
the part of one of the allies, but only of a defensive war and, at 
that, not a defensive war with any adversary whatsoever, but 
only with a great power. If one considers that Italy was at that 

63 Cf. p. 31, note 59. 

64 "Dans le cas oft. Tune des H.P.C. sans provocation directe de sa part venait a 
tre attaqu6e par une grande puissance," etc. As to what was meant by "attack," 
Hermann Rehm, writing in the Frankfurter Zeitung of June 20, 1915, has discussed 
in detail the articles of the treaty of the Triple Alliance known at that time. 


time menaced by France alone and had made sure of the help of 
Germany and Austria-Hungary, by the terms of Article 2, in the 
event of an attack by that power, while Austria-Hungary could 
not count on corresponding aid from Italy in an Austro-Russian 
war, one can understand that Kalnoky must have been deeply 
chagrined when Italy showed her unwillingness to promise even a 
benevolent neutrality in case Austria-Hungary should find herself 
compelled, by force of circumstances, to go to war with Russia or 
with another state, even if the latter were not a great power. 

It is unfortunate that we have no information concerning the 
course of the conversation held between Kalnoky and Robilant in 
this matter. We may assume that Robilant, by way of justifying 
the Italian version, pointed to the purely defensive character of 
the draft, which corresponded to the wishes expressed with such 
clearness in the preamble by all the signatories. Indeed, it cannot 
be denied that the Italian government was consistent in this re- 
gard. In the wording of Articles 2 and 3 it had proposed changes 
which made it plain that the establishment of the casus foederis 
should in all cases depend on the fact that the ally had been at- 
tacked and that this attack had not been superinduced by direct 
provocation on its part. 65 

65 Article 2. The Italians proposed that "In the provisions regarding support to 
be furnished to Italy or Germany in the case of a French attack, the words 'sans 
provocation' were to be changed to ' sans provocation directe/ and ' d'une agression 
non provoquee' to 'd'une agression non directement provoquee." Kalnoky noted in 
his own handwriting here: "No objection, if Germany approves." As a matter of 
fact, Austria-Hungary had no particular interest in this matter. Possibly this pro- 
posal was prompted by the fear of the Italians that in case the words " sans provoca- 
tion" alone were used, Austrian or German participation in a Franco-Italian war on 
Italy's side might be declined under the pretext that there had been provocation on 
the part of Italy, even if it were not " direct." This danger was doubtless averted by 
the insertion of the word "directe" after "provocation." Reciprocity demanded 
that a similar change in the treaty text should be made in Germany's favor. 

Article 3. Robilant proposed that the stipulation governing the establishment of 
the casus foederis in the case of a war between one or two of the signatory parties and 
two or more great powers should not be expressed by the phrase "si une ou deux 
parties contractantes sont engagees dans une guerre," but by the words "Si une ou 
deux des hautes parties contractantes, sans provocation directe le leur part, vien- 
nent a tre attaque"es et a se trouver par ce fait engagees," etc. Kalnoky noted here 
in his own handwriting: "accepted ad referendum, in order to reach an agreement 
with Berlin concerning the change. Said to Prince Reuss that I found the words 


Kalnoky accepted Robilant's proposals, in so far as they related 
to Articles 2 and 3, for further consideration; those bearing on 
Article 4, however, he firmly declined, insisting on the restoration 
of the wording as chosen by him in the third draft. 66 To certain 
other changes in the text of the Preamble 67 and in Article 4, 68 
which he considered unessential, he immediately gave his assent. 
As for the proposal made by Robilant to extend the scope of Arti- 
cle 5 regarding possible preparations for joint action in case of war, 
by inserting a provision according to which the allies would pledge 
themselves, in a common war, to conclude an armistice, peace, or 
treaty only after reaching an agreement among themselves, he 
made his assent conditional on a previous agreement with Bis- 
marck. 69 

As we have seen, however, the Italian demands were not limited 
to far-reaching plans for alterations in the treaty text. On the 
same day that Robilant presented to Kalnoky the new Italian 

'attaquees et a se trouver par cefait' superfluous, and that these had better be 
eliminated." Rehm, in the article cited in note 64, has concluded from the wording 
"venaient a 6tre attaquees et a se trouver engagers dans une guerre" that only a 
menace, not an actual attack, was necessary on the part of the adversary: "A be- 
ginning of hostilities following a challenge is, according to the sense of the treaty, to 
be regarded as defence." It may be doubted, however, whether this was Robilant's 

68 Kdlnoky's note, in his own handwriting, reads: "Refused change, since it alters 
the sense, and insisted on restoration of text according to Draft no. 3, 'se verrait 
force"e de faire la guerre a une.' No objection to 'grande puissance.'" 

67 Toward the close of the preamble, Robilant insisted on the words "le repos de 
leurs e"tats et de PEurope" being replaced by "la security de leurs etats et le repos de 
1'Europe." Kalnoky noted here, "No objection." Cf. p. 29, note 52. 

68 In addition to the minutely discussed change in the text relating to the ques- 
tion of benevolent neutrality (pp. 30 ff., supra), Robilant proposed that the final sen- 
tence in Kalnoky's third draft, "sauf a intervenir avec les armes en faveur de leur 
allie si elles le jugeaient a propos," which had been adopted at his request, should be 
replaced by the phrase "en se re"servant chacune la facult6 de prendre part a la 
guerre, si elles le jugeaient a propos pour faire cause commune avec leur allie"." 
Kalnoky noted here: "No particular objection to the altered wording." 

69 The Italian draft read: "Elles s'engagent ds a present dans tous les cas de par- 
ticipation commune a une guerre a ne conclure ni paix, ni armistice, ni aucune es- 
pece de traite" que d'un commun accord entr' elles." Kalnoky notes here: "This 
paragraph accepted ad referendum for the purpose of reaching an understanding 
with Prince Bismarck. Said to Prince Reuss that I see no objection to accepting 
this, with the omission, however, of the words 'ni aucune espece de traiteV" 


draft of the treaty of the Triple Alliance, he also gave him the out- 
line of a ' supplementary protocol/ the acceptance of which he 
urgently recommended. This supplementary protocol, which was 
to be signed simultaneously with the main treaty, affirmed that 
the latter contained no offensive tendencies of any nature what- 
soever against England that, on the contrary, the signatory 
powers would "accept England's accession to this treaty or even 
to a mere pact of neutrality. They reserve for themselves, how- 
ever, the right to establish, by means of an agreement to be 
reached among themselves, the time and the substance of every 
communication which might possibly be made to the British cabi- 
net to this end." 70 This proposal did not surprise Kalnoky. As 
early as April 15, Wimpffen had reported from Rome that the 
Italian government had not agreed to the wording of Article 3, 
governing the establishment of the casus foederis in the event of 
one or two of the allies becoming involved in a war with two or 
more Great Powers. "It is feared," said Wimpffen, "that this 
general wording might possibly draw Italy into war with England, 
and that, if not France, some other nation Russia, for example 
might be England's ally. The Italians wish to avoid every 
semblance of suspicion of England, for they feel that she could 
completely paralyze any military action that they might take." 71 
The reasons cited by the Italians to justify their especial con- 
sideration for England were not happily chosen; their point of 
view, however, was well founded. England was at that time deal- 
ing with the Egyptian question in common with France. No one 
could predict what further course their undertaking might as- 
sume; no one could guess what the future combinations of the 
European Great Powers might be. Italy, whose chagrin over the 

70 The wording of the Italian draft for a protocol is as follows: "Les plenipoten- 
tiaires soussignds, dument autorises par leurs gouvernements, declarent que les stipu- 
lations du traite" conclu et signe ce mme jour entre PAllemagne, rAutriche-Hongrie 
et ITtalie dans 1'intention defensive et prealablement exprime'e des parties contrac- 
tantes ne visent aucune offensive centre 1'Angleterre; et qu'au contraire les dites 
hautes parties contractantes accepteront 1'accession de 1'Angleterre au dit traite 
d'alliance ou mme seulement au pacte de neutrality, mais en se reservant de d6ter- 
miner d'un commun accord entre les trois allies le temps et la forme de toute com- 
munication qui devrait eventuellement 6tre adresse dans ce but au cabinet Anglais." 

71 Wimpffen to Kalnoky, April 15, 1882. Private letter. 


occupation of Tunisia by the French had drawn her closer to the 
Central Powers, was on the verge T>f concluding with them a treaty 
safeguarding her against a swift victory of the French army, 
which was far superior to her own. Neither Germany nor Austria- 
Hungary, however, was in a position to protect the Italian coasts 
against raids by the French fleet. England alone was able to do 
this. "As a friend and ally of England," Crispi declared later, 
"we have nothing to fear at sea; if the opposite were the case, we 
should never be masters of our own coasts." 72 And to whom, if 
not to England, was Italy to look for furtherance of those colonial 
plans to which she adhered with the utmost determination, never 
for a moment losing them from sight? In the course of the nego- 
tiations the Central Powers had shown no inclination to identify 
themselves with Italy's special interests in the Mediterranean. 73 
Here, too, only a friendly understanding with England could open 
up more favorable prospects for the future; and Mancini's desire 
for a declaration becomes all the more comprehensible a decla- 
ration which not only could serve, if the need should arise, to let 
the English government know that Italy had never thought of war 
against England, but also contemplated the entrance of England 
into the Triple Alliance. 

Mancini could count with certainty on Kalnoky's assent to this 
project. Austria-Hungary was at that time still on the best of 
terms with England; her chief statesmen wished this state of af- 
fairs to continue, and would undoubtedly have welcomed Britain's 
admittance to the Triple Alliance with eagerness. Bismarck, too, 
could make no objections to a provision which expressed the 
peaceful intentions of the Triple Alliance in special relation to 
England. He understood Italy's need to stand on good terms with 
England. "As a result of the proximity of Italy's extensive coast 
line to the French harbors and arsenals on the Mediterranean," 
he said on a certain occasion, 74 " together with Italy's lack of 

72 Cited by E. von Reventlow, Deutschland's auswartige Politik, 1888 bis /pij,p. u. 

73 In 1886 Robilant wrote: "En 1882 nous avons eu 1'air de mendier PaUiance 
plut6t que de la negocier, et, en la concluant, nous nous sommes expos6s a une 
guerre continentale sans prendre nos suretes centre une guerre maritime." Cf . Tar- 
dieu, La France et les alliances, pp. 163 ff. 

74 Cf. H. Hofmann, Fiirst Bismarck, 1890-1898, i, p. 257. 


coast defences, the latter, as England's ally, is completely pro- 
tected against France by the British fleet; while without England, 
Italy's position is exposed indeed." Quite different, however, was 
his attitude toward the project for the prospective inclusion of 
England in the Triple Alliance. He was primarily prejudiced 
against this by regard for Russia, whose more intimate association 
with the Central Powers he had at heart now, as before. He knew, 
too, that he could never persuade his aged sovereign to take a 
step which could only be interpreted at the Russian court as a 
challenge. Moreover, Bismarck was not inclined to smooth the 
way for the policy of expansion which was even then being vigor- 
ously pushed by English statesmen; and he was convinced that 
the English cabinet could conclude no secret agreements on ac- 
count of Parliament. 

We unfortunately have no information concerning the negotia- 
tions carried on between the German and Austro-Hungarian gov- 
ernments toward the end of April and the beginning of May with 
regard to this question and the new Italian project for a treaty; 
we only know the results to which they led. Robilant's project for 
a protocol contemplating the inclusion of England in the Triple 
Alliance was rejected by the Central Powers at Bismarck's 
wish, without doubt. Italy's suggestion, however, was successful 
to the extent that it was decided to state expressly that the provi- 
sions of the Triple Alliance were not directed against England. 75 
This was done by means of similarly worded ministerial declara- 
tions of the three governments, signed on the same day as the 
main treaty and annexed thereto. Bismarck proved to be very 
accommodating as regards the changes suggested by the Italians 
in the main treaty. In the case of most of the articles he accepted 
the wording of the Italian draft, and persuaded Kalnoky to drop 
his objections. Only in the case of Article 4, regarding the benev- 
olent neutrality to be observed by two of the allies toward the 
third, did he fail to overcome Kalnoky 's opposition; but a solu- 
tion was finally found which satisfied Kalnoky and took account 
at the same time of Italy's wishes. According to the new version, 
it was no longer a question of observing neutrality only when the 
78 Cf. the text, Vol. I, p. 68. 


ally was attacked, without provocation on its part, by a great 
power not belonging to the Alliance. The wording now ran: "In 
case a great power nonsignatory to the present treaty should 
threaten the security of the states of one of the high contracting 
parties, and the threatened party should find itself forced on that 
account to make war against it, the two others bind themselves 
to observe towards their ally a benevolent neutrality." 76 

When this question had been settled, no obstacle stood in the 
way of the signing of the Treaty and its supplementary Protocol. 
This was done at Vienna, on May 20, 1882, by Kalnoky, Reuss, 
and Robilant. On the 3oth of the same month the exchange of 
ratifications was consummated. 77 

The purposes of the treaty of May 20, 1882, were explicitly 
defensive in every respect. It was intended to secure the allied 
sovereigns and their states against any disturbance of the peace 
from without or within. In the latter regard, one should not' 
underestimate the significance attributed to the treaty by the 
allied sovereigns and their chief statesmen as a safeguard of the 
monarchical principle and a protection against ' destructive ' 
social movements. If the desire for strengthening the monarch- 
ical power had been one of the chief reasons for the rapprochement 
between Italy and the two empires, then the conclusion of the 
Triple Alliance must be regarded as the triumph of this idea a 
triumph, primarily, of the house of Savoy, which had not yet been 
firmly established in Italy. 78 The reason why this purpose finds 
expression only in the preamble to the treaty lies in the peculiar 
nature of international agreements. In other respects the arrange- 
ment was profitable to all three signatories to Italy, without 
doubt, in the greatest measure. This is a noteworthy fact, since 
Italy, as the suppliant, should have had to pay the highest price 
for the realization of the alliance. 

7 See Vol. I, p. 67. " See Vol. I, p. 68, note. 

78 The anonymous author of the article "La France, PItalie, et la Triple Alli- 
ance" (Revue des deux mondes, xciv, p. 279), expresses this idea correctly: "c'6tait 
peut-etre davantage le dsir de se rapprocher de 1'Europe conservatrice, de se donner 
une sorte de consecration vis-a-vis des cours et de garantie vis-a-vis de la revolution. 
... A vrai dire, la triple alliance a 6te* moins 1'oeuvre d'un ministere ou d'un parti, 
que de la dynastic." 


No guaranty of Italian territory, including Rome, was under- 
taken by the Central Powers; in this respect Italy had failed to 
obtain the satisfaction of her demands. However, the words in 
the preamble stating that the allies pledged themselves to the 
"unimpaired maintenance of the social and political order in their 
respective states" could be interpreted by the Italian government 
as containing a safeguard against the restoration of the temporal 
, power of the Pope. Indeed, Italy must have realized with con- 
siderable complacency that she, the state which had been humili- 
ated at the Congress of Berlin, treated with scorn and contempt 
as the least of the nations of Europe, 79 now, freed from her peril- 
ous isolation, was taking her stand as a great power, with equal 
rights, beside the two Central Empires. Italy's greatest political 
advantage, however, lay in the fact that she was guaranteed 
against any attack by the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and had 
won the additional assurance of being supported by the full 
strength of both her allies in case she were attacked by France, the 
only country whose menace was immediate. 

The obligations assumed by her in return for these considerable 
advantages were insignificant. Participation at the side of mighty 
Germany in a war against isolated France that had been brought 
on by French aggression against Germany would entail but little 
danger; while, in the event of a victorious conclusion, inviting 
prospects of territorial acquisitions along the northwestern fron- 
tiers would be opened up. In case of a combined attack by France 
and Russia the allies were threatened by no other great power 
at that time the remoteness of Italy from the probable scene of 
action gave her little ground for fear. The Italians were not 
pledged to support the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in a war with 
Russia alone. They merely promised in this event to observe a 
benevolent neutrality, reserving the right to participate in the war 
in case their interests so demanded in other words, if the suc- 
cess of their ally was certain and thus share in the spoils of 

79 Chiala, Pagine di storia contemporanea, ii, p. 17: "Umiliati a Berlino come 
I'ultimo popolo d'Europa ne tornammo colle beffe et collo scorno." 


Germany derived a double advantage from the alliance. First 
of all, she was now sure that Italy would not be fighting on the 
side of her adversaries in a war which she might have to wage 
alone against France, or jointly with Austria against the com- 
bined armies of France and Russia. This was what Bismarck had 
in view when he remarked that he would be satisfied if "one Ital- 
ian corporal with the Italian flag and a drummer at his side should 
take the field on the Western front (against France) and not on 
the Eastern front (against Austria)." 80 Then, too, there was the 
hope that Italy might after all participate actively on the side of 
Germany in a war begun by France. In this way the new ally 
would have filled the gaps left open in Bismarck's system of de- 
fence by Kalnoky's adherence to Andrassy's policy, which pre- 
cluded the idea of cooperation on the part of Austria-Hungary in a 
Franco-German conflict. 81 Military circles in Berlin, to be sure, 
cherished no illusions as to the real value of the Italian army. 
They believed, however, that an Italian advance against south- 
eastern France might have a value for their strategic plans which 
was not to be ignored; and the Italian fleet, at that time con- 
sidered the third strongest in Europe, might also render the Ger- 
man army certain services. 

As for Austria-Hungary, the chief advantage accruing to her 
from the Triple Alliance lay in the neutralization of the danger 
which had heretofore existed of an attack on her southern borders 
by Italy while she was involved in a war with Russia. Protected 
on this side, the Dual Monarchy could concentrate its entire 
strength against its eastern neighbor if the attitude of the latter 

80 Cf. Billow, Deutsche Politik (1916), p. 72. Bismarck expressed himself to an 
American journalist (cf. Poschinger, Also sprach Bismarck, iii, p. 151) as follows: 
"Though Italy should reduce her army by two, three, or even four army corps, the 
chief point is that the entire Austrian army would be left free, through Italian friend- 
liness, for action on the Eastern frontier." 

81 It is therefore incorrect that as has been repeatedly asserted by French 
authors (recently by Antonin Debidour, Histoire politique de V Europe, iii, p. 51) 
Austria-Hungary had pledged herself to participate in a war against France, in the 
event that the latter alone were the adversary of the allies. On the contrary, Austria- 
Hungary had absolutely declined this obligation. In the event of an offensive war of 
France against Germany, she was only pledged to participate in case Russia aligned 
herself with France. 


should make it necessary to assume the offensive. No provision 
was made in the treaty pledging Italy to furnish armed assistance 
to Austria in case she should be attacked by Russia alone without 
provocation. Later Austro-Hungarian statesmen have censured 
Count Kalnoky for this, and have declared that he allowed him- 
self to be outwitted by the Italians, since he promised them the 
full military asistance of Austria-Hungary in case France as- 
sumed the offensive against Italy without demanding similar aid 
from them in the event of a Russian attack on the Dual Mon- 
archy. There can now be no doubt that such a pledge on the part 
of the Italians would in itself have been desirable, even if Kalnoky, 
like Prince Bismarck, did not value the righting strength of the 
Italians very highly, and considered the Dual Monarchy strong 
enough to carry out a successful war with Russia by the side of 
Germany, whose assistance in the event of attack by Russia was 
assured by the treaty of October, 1879. 

There were certain reasons, however, for Kalnoky's attitude. 
Years later he admitted that he had renounced Italian aid in 
warding off a Russian attack on Austria because he wished to 
afford his greedy neighbor no opportunity to stretch out a hand 
toward the Balkan countries and turn the Adriatic into an Italian 
sea. 82 And there was still another reason. Kalnoky held firmly to 

82 It may have been this consideration which determined Kdlnoky not to demand 
Italy's support of Austria-Hungary in a conflict with one or more Balkan states. 
Frakn6i (Kritische Studien zur Geschichte des Dreibundes, p. 336), says: "Austria- 
Hungary was exposed to the danger of attack by ambitious small states whose races 
were represented within the Dual Monarchy (Serbia, Montenegro, Rumania). In 
the event of such an attack even if it were undertaken by these small states in co- 
operation with a single great power Austria-Hungary could not demand the assist- 
ance of her allies in protecting her imperilled integrity by virtue of Article III. The 
possibility and probability that this dangerous situation might arise escaped the at- 
tention of those Austro-Hungarian diplomats who concluded the treaty and re- 
peatedly renewed it." It should nevertheless be observed that Kalnoky wished under 
all circumstances to avoid Italian meddling in the Balkan questions. In 1882 he suc- 
ceeded in doing this, but not in 1887. Cf. pp. 72 ff., infra. Kalnoky characterized 
this in 1887 as a very heavy sacrifice which Austria had made for the great cause. 
Moreover, Serbia was completely bound to the Dual Monarchy by the treaty of June 
28, 1881, and had pledged herself to support Austria-Hungary in a conflict with the 
surrounding Balkan nations. Hostilities were no longer to be feared from the Ru- 
manian sovereign. The sudden change which resulted in 1883 in the alliance of 
Rumania with the powers of the Triple Alliance was in preparation as early as 1882. 


the principle which had governed Andrassy at the time of the con- 
clusion of the Austro- German treaty: he wished under no circum- 
stances to bind Austria to take part in a war between France and 
Germany. He was delighted that Bismarck had made no demand 
of this nature during the course of the negotiations leading up to 
the Triple Alliance, and was anxious to avoid everything which 
might induce him to put forward such a proposal. This danger 
would have been imminent indeed if Austria had stipulated in the 
treaty for the support of both her allies in the case of an attack by 
one great power namely Russia while herself refusing to 
lend aid to Germany in the similar event of an attack by France. 
Italy retained her specially favored position, but the cause of it 
lay in her military weakness. This may have been the reason why 
Kalnoky renounced a corresponding counter-service in return for 
the armed assistance which had been pledged the Italians if at- 
tacked by France, and contented himself with their promise to 
fight at the side of Austria-Hungary and Germany in case these 
powers should be forced to meet an attack launched without prov- 
ocation by France and Russia together. 


FEBRUARY 20, 1887 

IT was hoped that the Treaty of the Triple Alliance of May 20, 
1882, would form the basis of really friendly relations between 
Italy and Austria-Hungary. This hope, however, was not ful- 
filled. The two governments, to be sure, adhered strictly to their 
obligations, and their leading statesmen neglected no opportunity 
to speak of the excellent relations existing between the two coun- 
tries, and the cordial sentiments of their sovereigns. They also 
showed their readiness to smooth over nascent difficulties in the 
most accommodating spirit. The Italian press, however, echoed 
the reckless talk of certain members of the Chamber, and kept 
urging the Italian people to unfriendly utterances and deeds 
against Austria-Hungary, thus arousing a retaliatory spirit on the 
other side. The difficulties preventing Francis Joseph's return 
visit to Rome tt were not given due consideration by the Italian 
press and people, and every alternative proposed by Vienna was 
stigmatized as an insult to the national honor and brusquely re- 
jected. The Irredentist movement spread and increased in 
strength. Prince Bismarck, to whom the Austro-Hungarian states- 
men had expressed their concern over these developments, made 
repeated attempts to influence the Italian press, only to be forced 
to admit the failure of his efforts. When the heir to the Austrian 
throne, Crown Prince Rudolph, spoke to the Imperial Chancellor 
in February, 1883, concerning the hostile attitude of the press and 
the people of Italy toward the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Bis- 
marck said that unfortunately one could not depend much on the 
friendly assurances of the Italian government. Even if good will 

83 This question gave rise to repeated discussions between Kdlnoky and the Ital- 
ian statesmen, regarding which the Vienna State Archives contain valuable material. 
Cf. Crispi, Memoirs, ii, pp. 156 f. 


were present, strength would be lacking. King Humbert might 
easily find himself so placed that he would have to choose between 
"taking his place as leader of a popular movement against the 
allies and holding fast, in open opposition to the wishes of his na- 
tion, to the obligations he had assumed toward them." It was 
impossible, Bismarck declared, to count with full confidence on 
Italy if war were to break out with France or Russia. 84 

At first, however, there appeared to be no reason for disturbing 
the existing relationship, especially as the chief Italian statesmen 
kept referring most cordially to the Triple Alliance and its bene- 
ficial results for Italy, and promised it their unswerving allegiance. 
It was the colonial plans of Italy, developed in 1885 in emulation 
of the Western powers, which first caused serious concern to the 
two empires. The military occupation of the Egyptian port of 
Massowah on the Red Sea, without previous notification to 
Vienna or Berlin, seemed to the statesmen of Germany and Aus- 
tria-Hungary not altogether in accord with the provisions of the 
treaty of the Triple Alliance. In April, 1885, Count Kalnoky sub- 
mitted to the Imperial Chancellor the question whether Italy's 
attention should be called to this, but abstained for the moment 
from following the matter up, since Bismarck, though sharply 
condemning the step taken by Italy, decided it would be better 
"to give the Italians tune to reform.", 85 But this hoped-for ' ref- 
ormation' did not materialize. The lack of confidence shared by 
Bismarck and Kalnoky in the trustworthiness of Italian policy 
persisted even after Count Robilant, a sincere friend of the Triple 
Alliance, had assumed control of the Foreign Office in June, 1885. 
On the occasion of an interview which took place in August of this 
same year between Bismarck and Kalnoky, the two statesmen 
agreed that Italy "could not be regarded as a significant factor in 
any possible combination." They were also of the opinion, how- 
ever, that the treaty of the Triple Alliance should be renewed if 
Italy so requested, since it bound her at least morally to the Cen- 
tral Powers, jit is significant that this time it was Bismarck who 

84 Report of Crown Prince Rudolph regarding his interview with Prince Bismarck, 
March i, 1883. 

86 Copy of a letter from Bismarck to Reuss, April 17, 1885. 


recommended that a close watch be kept on Italy's advances in 
the Red Sea. "We must see to it," he said, "that there is no 
chance of Italy through her pranks involving us perhaps de- 
liberately in a conflict with France." 86 

No further discussion of this and other questions, however, was 
undertaken for the time being, since Italy had not yet requested 
the prolongation of the alliance. 87 This she first did in July, 
I886, 88 when certain fundamental changes in the general political 
conditions of Europe gave the Italians reason to believe that they 
could now enter into negotiations under more favorable circum- 
stances. The Bulgarian affair, with the annexation of Eastern 
Rumelia to Bulgaria in September, 1885, had destroyed the pass- 
able relations which, thanks to the mediatory policy of Bismarck, 
had existed up to that time between the governments of Vienna 
and St. Petersburg. The events following this the Serbo-Bul- 
garian war, Austria's intervention in favor of the vanquished Ser- 
bian king, and the firm stand taken by the government of Vienna 
against that predominance of Russian influence in the Balkans 
which had manifested itself in the enforced abdication of Alexan- 
der of Battenberg aggravated the struggle of the two powers 
for mastery in the Balkans. The understanding existing between 
them threatened to vanish; the peril of an Austro-Russian war 
loomed larger. Taking these circumstances into consideration, 

86 Notes regarding conversations with Bismarck in Varzin, August 12-16, 1885; 
signed in Kdlnoky's own handwriting. 

87 Crispi states (Memoirs, ii, p. 160) that on October 24, 1885, Bismarck made 
overtures to Launay regarding the renewal of the treaty, and declared his readiness 
to give it "more practical and cordial" form. But when Launay remarked "that 
provisionally the aim was only to smooth the way for improving the working of the 
existing alliance," Bismarck had no objection to make. The latter expression is per- 
haps more characteristic than the former of Bismarck's attitude at the time. Ac- 
cording to Chiala (La triplice e la duplice alleanza, 26. ed., p. 466), Robilant, when 
asked by Launay whether he intended to suggest an exchange of ideas with regard to 
the question of renewing the treaty, replied: "che ci6 spettava al principe, non a 

88 According to Chiala, p. 467, Robilant replied about the middle of March, 1886, 
to a second inquiry from Launay as to the desirability of taking the first steps toward 
the renewal of an improved alliance: "che non giudicava il momento acconcio per in- 
tavolare negoziati per il rinnovamento del trattato, il quale, in tutti i casi, non 
poteva essere rinnovato tel quel." 


the value to Austria-Hungary of an alliance with Italy, stronger 
as she now was financially and in military resources, had decidedly 
increased all the more so because it must have been realized in 
Vienna that Bismarck was by no means inclined to support Aus- 
tria-Hungary's Balkan policy through thick and thin. On the con- 
trary, it was known that he intended to demand considerable 
sacrifices of his ally for the purpose of blocking the union of the 
French military party, at that time making great headway under 
Boulanger's leadership, with that of Russia. 

In view of the possibility of a war on two fronts, even to Prince 
Bismarck Italy's adherence to the Triple Alliance seemed far more 
desirable than before. With the growth of this peril in the second 
half of 1886, Bismarck became increasingly disposed to give a 
hearing to the proposals brought forward by the Italian govern- 
ment. As late as July, 1886, he had declined Launay's request 
that Germany take the initiative in renewing the Triple Alliance, 
on the ground that such a step might be regarded in Vienna as 
pressure, and that " Germany was only secondarily interested in 
the prolongation of the treaty." The Italians were referred to 
their Austro-Hungarian allies, who in the meanwhile had been 
cautioned to observe the greatest wariness, since Italy was also 
negotiating with France and would sell herself as an ally as dearly 
as possible. At the same time Bismarck had expressed doubts as 
to the advisability of meeting the wishes of Italy, who was already 
demanding the renewal of the Triple Alliance on the basis of the 
status quo in the Mediterranean and in the Adriatic, especially as 
"in view of Italy's well known aspirations towards Albania," no 
faith can be placed "in the sincerity of the promises she has given 
regarding the maintenance of the status quo in the Adriatic." 89 
In the conversations which took place in July, 1886, at Kissingen, 
and a month later at Gastein, between Bismarck and Kalnoky, 
the two statesmen likewise agreed that the existing relation should 
be allowed to continue unchanged, since an extension of the pre- 

89 Telegram from Sz6ch6nyi to Kalnoky, July 27, 1886. Among other things, 
Launay mentioned in a conversation that 'the Italian frontier in Friuli was entirely 
open; but this question would be exclusively the subject of an entente d I'amical.' 
With regard to the differences between Robilant's and Launay's conceptions, cf. 
Chiala, La triplice e la duplice atteanza (ad ed.), pp. 469 ff. 


vious obligations through the assumption of a guaranty of the 
status quo hi the Mediterranean could not be accepted. 90 

The substance of this was made known to Robilant, 91 who was 
greatly offended by Bismarck's unfavorable attitude. " Italy," he 
wrote at the time to Launay, "is tired of this unprofitable alliance, 
and I feel no desire to facilitate its renewal; for I am convinced 
that it will always remain unprofitable for us. It is possible, how- 
ever, that Herr von Bismarck is deceived with regard to me, and 
has imagined, hi his ignorance, that I will feel constrained to fol- 
low him at all times and under all circumstances. If he believes 
this, he is grievously mistaken. It is more than probable that I 
shall not renew the alliance. I shall wait, however, for the proper 
moment to come before committing myself. I therefore desire 
that you, for your part, should avoid any exchange of opinions hi 
the matter of the renewal of the alliance. If the Imperial Chan- 
cellor wishes to set on foot negotiations to this end, he must take 
the initiative and let us know his ideas." 92 These were haughty 
words, written in a moment of excitement a blazing protest 
against Bismarck's condescending treatment of Italy. 

This mood, however, did not last long. The scanty inclination 
shown by Salisbury to champion with energy Italian interests hi 
the Orient, together with the fear of France's projects in the Med- 
iterranean, sharpened the desire of the Italians for closer relations 
with the Central Powers. In the middle of September von Rosty, 
the Austrian charge d'affaires hi Rome, was able to notify his gov- 
ernment that Robilant was ready to negotiate with Vienna and 
Berlin; he needed only to find a method of procedure "which 
would protect him against the charge of imperfectly safeguarding 
Italy's dignity on the part of his countrymen, whose amour propre 
was very great." The German government met this wish in an 

90 Conversation between Kalnoky and Reuss, September 24, 1886. 

91 Cf . also Chiala, p. 474. 

92 Cf. Chiala, p. 471. In this connection von Rosty reported from Rome on Au- 
gust 14 that Robilant had communicated to the ambassadors in Vienna and Berlin 
his conception of the conditions under which he believed it desirable to renew the 
Triple Alliance. He instructed them, however, "not to raise discussions of the mat- 
ter on their own initiative, but merely to express themselves hi accordance with their 
instructions in case the ministers of foreign affairs should bring up the subject." 


accommodating spirit, and began to work in Rome for the renewal 
of the alliance, thereby letting it be understood that if Robilant 
were to make fresh overtures he need no longer fear a brusquely un- 
favorable answer. 93 In fact, Bismarck now showed a much greater 
inclination to meet the wishes of the Italians. When, toward the 
end of September, 1886, Launay again made mention in Berlin of 
the Mediterranean question in connection with the renewal of the 
Triple Alliance, 94 Bismarck, it is true, referred him once more to 
Vienna, "where the key between Germany and Italy is to be 
found/' and left it to the Austro-Hungarian government to con- 
sider how far it might seem expedient for them "to encourage 
Italy's loyalty to the treaty, which is not altogether above suspi- 
cion, by holding out hopes of territorial acquisitions in the Medi- 
terranean." This time, however, he did not fail to point out the 
significance of her possible defection. 95 The eagerness shown by 
Keudell, the German ambassador in Rome, and the numerous 
conferences between him and Robilant, likewise indicated that the 
German government, realizing the ever-increasing peril of a 
Franco- German war, desired a speedy agreement with Italy. 

Towards the middle of October the results of German media- 
tion in Rome were imparted to Vienna. Robilant had declined a 
mere renewal of the treaty of 1882, and had characterized as in- 
dispensable a discussion of the Mediterranean questions espe- 
cially as regarded the maintenance of the status quo in Tripoli. 
An alliance with the Central Powers so Robilant declared 
would be of no value to Italy if it gave her no assurance that the 
allies would not permit an occupation of Tripoli by France. If 
this were not done, public opinion in Italy would rather favor 

93 Despatch from Rosty, September 16, 1886. In the conversations between the 
German representative, Count Arco, and Robilant, the question of Francis Joseph's 
return visit to Rome was broached by the latter. Bismarck thereupon caused in- 
quiries to be made by Reuss, in Vienna, as to the attitude taken there in the matter. 
Kalnoky replied that a journey to Rome by the emperor would be impossible; he 
would gladly pay his return visit to King Humbert at any other place, but it was un- 
likely that this would be agreed to in Italy. Interview with Prince Reuss, September 
17, 1886. 

94 Tavera to Kalnoky, September 28, 1886. Telegram. 

96 Ritter von Tavera to Kalnoky, October i, 1886. Original. Cf. Chiala, pp. 
474 ff. 


reaching an agreement with France regarding the mastery of the 

One more wish had also been expressed by Robilant. Italy, 
said he, could not stand by as a disinterested spectator in case 
Turkey 's possessions should be divided up by Russia and Austria; 
nor could she "allow herself to be taken by surprise by an ally." 
She must be given an opportunity, by timely notification, to as- 
sert her interests in that region. 96 As we have seen, the Italian 
statesmen knew how to make use of a favorable situation to their 
own ends. They now expressed in unmistakable terms their wishes 
for an extension of their sphere of influence on the North African 
coast of the Mediterranean and in the Balkans. Bismarck, in 
transmitting the proposals of the Italian cabinet to Vienna, at 
first refused to commit himself in regard to these claims. Now 
that the initial step had been taken by the Italians, he said, he 
would leave it to the Austrian government to get in touch with 
Robilant either through the intermediary of the German govern- 
ment or by the direct agency of the Italian ambassador in Vienna, 
Count Nigra; he declared at the same time, however, that any 
agreement reached by Austria would be assented to in advance by 
the German government. 97 

This shifting of the decision to Kalnoky's shoulders increased 
the Austro-Hungarian statesman's responsibility for the results of 
his action and compelled him to bear constantly in mind the 
desires of the German Imperial Chancellor, with which he was 
well acquainted. On principle, Kalnoky would have preferred 
to decline both the Italian demands. The assumption by 
Austria-Hungary of an obligation to back Italy's schemes in the 
Mediterranean, and the direct interference of Italy in the Balkan 
conflicts, were equally distasteful to him. In the course of his first 
conversation with Reuss regarding the Italian demands, he re- 

96 Report made by the German Ambassador on October 19, 1886, concerning 
Keudell's conversation with Robilant on October 5, 1886. The Austrian government 
had already been informed of the contents of these German-Italian negotiations 
through telegrams from its representative at the court of Berlin, Ritter von Tavera, 
on October 9, 12, and 16, 1886. 

97 Telegram from Tavera to Kalnoky, October 16, 1886, and instruction to Reuss, 
an excerpt from which was handed to Kalnoky on October 19, 1886. 


ferred to the fact that he and Bismarck had agreed at Kissingen 
to assume no guaranty for the maintenance of the status quo in 
the Mediterranean. 98 He added immediately, however, that in 
view of the existing situation, he did not propose to offend Robi- 
lant by an abrupt rejection of his wishes. He therefore said that 
he was ready to propose to Robilant the acceptance of the existing 
treaty as the basis for its prolongation, giving him at the same 
time an assurance that the Austrian government would "consider 
such other wishes as the Italians might express, and interpret 
them in a spirit of accommodation." Kalnoky, referring to Robi- 
lant J s demands, went on to say: "If the guaranty of Tripoli asked 
for by Count Robilant means only an assurance that we will 
pledge Italy our moral and diplomatic support in case of an at- 
tack by France on Tripoli or if he will be satisfied with such an 
assurance then, so far as we are concerned, we will raise no 
objections, for we have no reasons for grudging Italy the posses- 
sion of Tripoli. If, however, Count Robilant demands that our 
support in such an event should go as far as active intervention 
against France in other words, that we should become involved 
in a war on sea or on land on account of Tripoli we must refuse 
such a guaranty with the utmost decision; and so, I venture to 
say, must Germany." " 

With regard to Robilant's proposals concerning the Balkans, 
Kalnoky suggested an answer to the effect that 'in accordance 
with our interpretation of the spirit of the existing alliance, it 
would not have been permissible to reach such an important 
understanding without the knowledge of our ally, Italy. In such 
an event which, moreover, is out of harmony with the entire 
tendency of our policies Germany and Austria-Hungary would 
not fail to inform the Italian government in ample time.' Kal- 
noky added that he saw no objection to promising Robilant that, 
in the highly improbable event of such an agreement, the Italian 
cabinet would be duly acquainted with it. He also suggested an 
exchange of opinions with Bismarck regarding the possible coop- 
eration of Italy against Russia. "During the negotiations pre- 

9 <Cf.pp.47f. 

99 Kdlnoky's notes on his conversation with Reuss, October 23, 1886. 


ceding the conclusion of the present treaty," he said, "a certain 
inclination in that direction on the part of the Italians was to be 
observed. The matter, however, was not taken up either by us or 
by the Germans partly because we did not consider it neces- 
sary to draw Italy into the affairs of the Orient, partly because we 
doubted whether Italy, occupied as she was by the more imme- 
diate French peril, would be in a position to make any important 
military contribution in the East. Now, however, that Italy has 
in view an Oriental policy with regard to France, I think it is 
worth our while to give further consideration to a possible Italian 
cooperation against Russia." 10 

The cautiousness, the reserve shown in Kalnoky's utterances 
concerning the Italian demands, aroused Bismarck's displeasure, 
for he believed Italy's aid was indispensable to the great structure 
of the alliance built up by him against a double attack by the 
united military forces of France and Russia. He therefore decided 
to exert strong pressure on the Austro-Hungarian government in 
favor of Italy. For this purpose he made use of an effective expe- 
dient, employed by him many times before, and brought his aged 
ruler into the foreground. "Emperor William," he wrote to 
Vienna, "finds that it would be inexpedient for Germany to re- 
main neutral in the event of a war between France and Italy, no 
matter what its cause might be. The origin of such a war would, 
in fact, be of no consequence, 101 for Germany could not permit 
Italy to be annihilated or reduced to a state of dependence by 
France." In Vienna also, he went on to say, it should be con- 
sidered how easily Italy, if she were bound by no treaty, could 
align herself with Russia in the event of an Austro-Russian war. 
Bismarck, for his part, laid most stress on the danger of Italy's de- 
fection to the camp of the French. "If Italy," he said, "repulsed 
by the Allies, were to offer herself to France for the price of Tripoli, 
France would close with her." Bismarck also expressed his con- 

100 Kalnoky's notes on his conversation with Reuss, October 23, 1886. 

101 On October 26 Prince Reuss and Kalnoky had a second conversation; Reuss, 
acting under Bismarck's instructions, emphasized the point that Germany would 
have no objection to guaranteeing the status quo in Tripoli, and said that Bismarck 
would like to know Kalnoky's views in the matter. The latter answered evasively. 
Notes regarding Kalnoky's conversation with Reuss, October 26, 1886. 


viction that Italy would accept less than she was now asking of 
Germany and Austria-Hungary. He believed himself justified in 
assuming that she would be satisfied with a promise on the part of 
the Central Powers to help her in case she "should be attacked by 
France in her European possessions after protesting against a pos- 
sible, though very improbable French advance in Tripoli." In the 
Balkan question also he felt that Italy's assent could be counted 
on, provided "assurance against surprises were given her" in that 
region. 102 

The exhortations and counsels directed by Prince Bismarck 
towards Vienna were not without effect. Kalnoky realized how 
urgently he needed Germany's help to maintain Austria-Hun- 
gary's position in the Balkans, and Bismarck's utterances had 
given him reason to doubt whether he could count unreservedly 
on German support in the event of a passage at arms with Russia. 
In the same speech in which he indicated the limits of his conces- 
sions to Russian demands in the Balkans by the words, "We all 
wish peace, but certainly not peace at any price," he hinted at 
the differences existing between him and Bismarck with regard to 
the Balkan question. "It is self-evident," he declared, "that in 
the case of two great powers of such magnitude, stretching as they 
do from the Baltic to the Adriatic, and from the North Sea to 
the lower Danube, each one possesses special interests lying 
wholly outside the sphere of interests of the other, the protection 
of which is not included among the obligations of the other." 

Kalnoky therefore decided to accommodate the Italians as far 
as possible, without altogether abandoning the stand he had taken 
on principle, and informed Berlin that the cabinet of Vienna "had 
no objections to the pledges, as worded by Bismarck." At the 
same time, however, he expressed the fear that the demands of the 
Italians would not be within the bounds of moderation. For this 
reason he felt it his duty to state with emphasis that Austria- 
Hungary would have nothing to do with any project that might 
curtail her freedom of action in the Orient, or " give Italy the right 
to exert particular influence in any territorial question whatever." 

102 Excerpt from the instructions from the German Foreign Office to Reuss; 
handed to Kalnoky on October 30. 


The question of the Adriatic, he said, "is bound to emerge at 
some time from the hiding place in which it has been lurking of 
late." 103 

Shortly after this, Robilant took another step which showed 
that Kalnoky's misgivings had not been without foundation. To- 
ward the end of November, 1886, he submitted to the German 
government, through Launay, the draft of a supplementary 
treaty, urgently recommending its acceptance and attempting to 
establish and justify its substance in great detail. In doing this, 
he proceeded on the assumption that the treaty of 1882 had not 
fulfilled Italy's rightful expectations. At the time of its signature 
the three allies had expressly promised mutual support "within 
the limits of their own interests" in matters not directly implying 
the casus foederis. Italy, however, was convinced that, so far as 
her just claims on Tripoli and Morocco were concerned, the pro- 
visions of the treaty had been dead letters. Robilant also pointed 
out that the Italy of 1887 was not the same as the Italy of 1882; 
with her new financial and military strength she could offer her 
allies more, and could ask more from them. It was possible for her 
to enter into relations with France which, if not exactly renewing 
the old ties of friendship, would serve to preclude any danger of an 
attack from that quarter. "And as far as our neighbor to the 
east, Austria-Hungary, is concerned, it must be admitted that 
public opinion, after accustoming itself to the radical difference in 
the relations between the two countries before and after the peace 
treaty of October 3, 1866, is generally agreed that an Austro- 
Italian conflict growing out of Irredentist agitation appears almost 
out of the question." The instinct of self-preservation, however, 
compelled Italy to insist on the safeguarding of her position in 
the Mediterranean against further aggressions, in places where 
these were still possible. The proposed obligations to be assumed 
by the Central Powers would therefore only "restore in favor of 
Italy the rightful relation of the reciprocal advantages." Acting 
on these suppositions, and supported by the conviction that a 
stronger Italian position in the Mediterranean would avert the 
danger "which might arise from the extension of the sovereignty 
103 Kdlnoky to Reuss, November 3, 1886. Copy. 


and the influence in the Mediterranean of that nation which one 
day might be our common enemy," Robilant proposed that the 
alliance of 1882 should be perfected by the addition of a supple- 
mentary treaty, the substance of which he outlined as follows: 

The first article would confirm the original treaty and estab- 
lish the prolongation of its validity for five more years, counting 
from the day of exchange of ratifications. 104 

The second article was to bring up the discussions of the ques- 
tion of the Orient. Robilant assumed that all three powers must 
regard it as their purpose to maintain the status quo in that 
region. This joint programme, he declared, had express reference 
"to the coasts and islands of the Adriatic and Aegean Seas be- 
longing to the Ottoman Empire." To this end the signatory 
powers were to pledge themselves to use their influence to prevent 
any territorial change which might occur there to the disadvan- 
tage of one of the parties to the treaty; and to impart to one an- 
other any information which might serve mutually to throw light 
on their own l dispositions ' as well as on those of other powers. 
However, since account had to be taken of the possibility that 
events might prove stronger than the wishes of the allied powers, 
and that the maintenance of the status quo in the aforementioned 
regions might therefore become impossible, Robilant proposed 
that, in the event that ' another power should attempt to make a 
move in that direction' (Russia was of course alluded to), Italy 
and Austria-Hungary should consider a separate action; for "in 
view of their geographical position and their greater title to inter- 
vene, these two states only from among the group of the allies 
would be called to appear on the battlefield." If such a case should 
arise, Germany would only assume a moral obligation to favor 
the operations of the other two allies; the latter would take steps 
temporarily or permanently to occupy such territories as might 
be menaced by a third power. Before the beginning of opera- 

104 The wording corresponds exactly with that of the first article of the treaty 
signed on February 20, 1887, by the representatives of all three powers. See Vol. I, 
p. 105. The observation is added (at that time Robilant was not thinking of special 
treaties), "Les stipulations du dit traite d'alliance sont en outre, a partir du jour de 
1'echange des ratifications du present traite" additionnel, comp!6tees par les clauses 
contenues dans les articles suivants." 


tions, however, an understanding would be reached between 
Austria-Hungary and Italy as to the reciprocal compensation 
1 by which the legitimate claims of both parties would be equally 
satisfied.' 105 

Robilant believed that by this provision "the danger of a clash 
between the two allies will be avoided, each of the two parties will 
be assigned its proper task, and, finally, the advantages which 
they expect to gain from the joint undertakings will be regulated 
with impartiality and mutual good will." 

By the terms of the third article, each of the allies was to be 
allowed a free hand in certain questions of foreign policy. Robi- 
lant made it plain to the Austro-Hungarian and German states- 
men that he had particularly in mind the Egyptian question and 
Italy's relations to England, with whose government he had al- 
ready entered into negotiations regarding the protection of the 
interests of both countries in the Mediterranean. "This reserva- 
tion," he said, "is not merely for the sake of additional clearness; 
it also possesses for us an especial value, in that it averts all dan- 
ger of a conflict between the obligations we have assumed toward 
our allies and the especial demands made by our relation with 
England; and contains, so to speak, a tacit sanction by the two 
empires of the combinations which a regard for our interests has 
obliged us to effect with the English government." 106 

106 In Robilant's draft, Article 2 reads: "Les hautes parties contractantes, n' 
ayant en vue que le maintien, autant que possible, du status quo territorial en 
Orient, s'engagent user de leur influence pour preVenir sur les c6tes et lies otto- 
manes dans 1'Adriatique et dans la mer Egee toute modification territoriale qui por- 
terait dommage a Tune ou a Pautre des puissances signataires du pr6sent traite. 
Elles se communiqueront a cet effet tous les renseignements de nature les e"clairer 
mutuellement sur leurs propres dispositions, ainsi que sur celles d'autres puissances. 

"Toutefois dans le cas ou, par suite des evenements, le maintien du status quo 
dans les regions susmentionnees deviendrait impossible, et que, soit en consequence 
de Taction d'une puissance tierce, ou outrement, 1'Italie ou I'Autriche-Hongrie se 
verraient dans la n6cessit6 de le modifier par une occupation permanente ou tempo- 
raire de leur part, cette occupation n'aura lieu qu'apres un accord pre"alable entre les 
deux susdites puissances, base" sur le principe d'une compensation rciproque don- 
nant satisfaction aux interets et preventions bien fond6s des deux parties." 

106 Article 3 of this draft corresponds completely in substance to Article II of the 
German-Italian treaty of February 20, 1887. In wording there are only a few minor 
stylistic changes. Cf. Vol. I, p. 112. 


The greatest stress was laid by Robilant on the provisions of 
Article 4 of his draft, which had reference to Tripoli and Morocco. 
"One should cherish no illusions," wrote Robilant. "The possi- 
bility of a French advance against Tripoli, or against the portion 
of Morocco bordering on the Mediterranean, is still to be reck- 
oned with, in spite of the frequent assurances of the French min- 
isters, which were repeated only recently." An extension of the 
French sphere of influence on the North African coast would be 
regarded by public opinion in Italy as "a wound inflicted on the 
national integrity. Any government, " he went on to say, "would 
in such a case be forced to oppose with armed force the carrying 
out of this plan, or at least to restore the disturbed balance in the 
Mediterranean by means of suitable compensations. We do not 
ask our allies to give us armed assistance in preventing a French 
inroad in Tripoli or Morocco ; neither do we ask their help in case 
we seek compensation for French conquests in Morocco by a gain 
of territory in Tripoli, unopposed by France. What we do ask of 
them is this. If we should proceed to meet with armed force a 
French advance against Tripoli, or if, as the result of French 
action in Morocco, we should prepare an advance on Tripoli in the 
face of French resistance; or if, in either of these events, a formal 
declaration of war should be followed by an outbreak of hostilities 
between us and France, either in Tripoli or in a part of the French 
possessions in Europe, then, and only then after we had taken 
the initiative in armed action against France should we con- 
sider ourselves empowered by Article 4 to invoke the aid of both 
our allies and enjoy all the consequences of the casusfoederis." 107 

Robilant knew that this demand would meet with opposition 
from the allies especially from Austria-Hungary; he knew that 
the latter would flatly refuse to enter, for the sake of satisfying 

107 With the exception of two places, Article 4 of this draft corresponds word for 
word with Article III of the German-Italian treaty of February 20, 1887. Cf. Vol. 
I, p. 112. The variants are as follows: In the draft which presupposed a treaty 
binding on all three parties it is stipulated that the potential war shall be carried 
on "a la charge du groupe alli6 "; in the definitive treaty between Germany and 
Italy, "a la charge commune des deux allies." In the draft, Italian action "sur la 
Tripolitaine" is specified; in the definitive treaty, "sur lesdits territoires nord- 


Italian ambition, into a war not directly provoked by France. 
Launay was therefore instructed to emphasize most strongly in 
Berlin that no mere territorial questions in Morocco or Tripoli 
were at stake, but the very existence and destiny of the kingdom 
of Italy. "In view of this, our allies will not deem our demands 
superfluous." 108 

After mature consideration, the Italian statesmen had first sub- 
mitted their draft in Berlin and besought Bismarck to use his good 
offices with the government of Vienna. They knew that on the 
Spree they might count upon a more accommodating spirit than 
on the Danube. Bismarck, as a matter of fact, was prepared to 
make extensive concessions to the Italians. At this moment, with 
the danger of a war with France continually increasing, he placed 
far greater value on the aid of Italy, with her new acquisition of 
military strength, than in 1882, when the Triple Alliance came 
into being; he was therefore anxious to conciliate the only ally on 
whom he could count in the event of a French attack for Aus- 
tria-Hungary was not pledged to participate in a Franco- German 
conflict. Moreover, by supporting Italy's interests in the Medi- 
terranean, Bismarck hoped to strengthen the ties that were to 
bind England to the powers of the Triple Alliance England, 
who, at Italy's request (and with Bismarck's hearty approval), 
was about to assume obligations which, in the event of a Franco- 
Italian war, might easily draw her into the conflict as an adver- 
sary of France. 109 

If the maintenance of an alliance with Italy was to the advan- 
tage of Germany's special interests in case war should break out 
between herself and France, Austria-Hungary, in Bismarck's opin- 
ion, would have even more to gain from such an alliance in case an 
Austro-Russian conflict were to become inevitable. We know 
that Bismarck had done everything in his power to bring about a 

108 Instruction from Robilant to Launay, Rome, November 23, 1886, and copy of 
the Italian treaty draft; the former communicated on December 7, 1886, the latter on 
December 5. Cf. also Robilant's speech in the Chamber on November 28, as given 
by Chiala, p. 477. 

109 The negotiations leading, on February 12, 1887, to the Anglo-Italian agree- 
ment, which was subscribed to, on March 24, 1887, by Austria-Hungary, will be 
dealt with in detail in subsequent portions of this work. 


peaceable settlement of the serious differences which had arisen 
between the courts of Vienna and St. Petersburg. He had kept it 
no secret that if hostilities were to break out, the Austrian govern- 
ment could only count on Germany's help if Russia were the ag- 
gressor. He had most emphatically advised Vienna against a 
break with Russia over Bulgaria, or even over Constantinople; he 
had advocated taking steps toward lasting friendly relations with 
the conservative and autocratic government of the Tsar, and had 
recommended, as a means to this end, the delimitation of separate 
spheres of influence in the Balkans for the two great powers. How- 
ever, he had to reckon with the possibility that his efforts would 
prove fruitless; that Russia's sovereign, swept along by the power- 
ful current of the nationalist movement, would invade Austria 
in order to put an end to her influence in the Balkans. Firmly re- 
solved that, in such an event, Germany should fulfil her obliga- 
tions as an ally to the uttermost, he felt it his duty to impress on 
the statesmen at Vienna that Italy, if repulsed, would be driven 
into an alliance with France and Russia which would be most dan- 
gerous to Germany and to Austria-Hungary. 

In order to avoid this, he insistently urged Kalnoky to meet 
Robilant's wishes as far and as quickly as possible. Kalnoky, 
however, showed no inclination to follow his advice. He acknowl- 
edged the weight of Bismarck's arguments, and declared his 
readiness to consider Italy's just wishes; but in his conversations 
with Reuss he emphasized the fact that Italy was asking for more 
than Austria-Hungary, consistently with her own interests, could 
concede. Participation by the Dual Monarchy in a Franco-Ital- 
ian war brought on without direct provocation by France would 
be too heavy a burden for Austria-Hungary to assume in favor of 
exclusively Italian interests. In the Balkans, he went on to say, 
Italy was attempting to gain a footing of equality which had so 
far not been conceded her by Austria-Hungary, whose freedom of 
action in those regions would be curtailed thereby; and in return 
for all this Italy offered no compensating counter-service. 110 Kal- 
noky refused to accept a treaty which made so unfair a division of 
obligations and privileges in Italy's favor. He requested time for 
110 Notes regarding a conversation with Reuss, December 8, 1886. 


reflection, and insisted on the adoption of provisions which would 
extend Italy's obligations. 

Kalnoky's attitude was the cause of great disappointment in 
Berlin. The difficulties with France were growing more serious 
week by week, and with them increased the danger of a Russo- 
German conflict. It was imperative to make sure of the Italians 
above all, to prevent their fighting at the side of Russia and 
France as Germany's enemies. In order to bring Kalnoky around, 
Bismarck informed the Austro-Hungarian representative in Ber- 
lin that, in case the renewal of the Triple Alliance should prove 
impossible, Germany would contract a separate alliance with 
Italy. 111 The warnings from Berlin had their effect in Vienna; 
Kalnoky could not deny their weight. In his opinion, the block- 
ing of Russian aggressions in the Balkans was, and would con- 
tinue to be, the chief purpose of Austro-Hungarian foreign policy, 
to further which he was ready, as a last resort, to employ armed 
force. Kalnoky well knew how much depended on Italy's atti- 
tude in such an event. Her union with Russia might be fraught 
with momentous consequences for Austria-Hungary. Even un- 
benevolent neutrality on the part of Italy would mean the neu- 
tralizing of considerable portions of the fighting force of the Dual 
Monarchy, and would disadvantageously influence the course of 
an Austro-Russian war. For these reasons Kalnoky had no idea 
of allowing the ties with Rome to be broken. He slowly gave in, 
abandoning the stand he had made on principle against the Ital- 
ian demands, and limiting himself to proposing alterations in 
Robilant's draft, 112 which were calculated to safeguard Austro- 
Hungarian interests. 

To this end he demanded that the efforts of the allies to main- 
tain the territorial status quo of the coasts and islands in the 
Adriatic and the Aegean seas belonging to the Ottoman Empire, 
as emphasized in Article 2 of the draft, should be extended to 

m Telegram from Tavera to Kalnoky, December 13, 1886. Regarding the differ- 
ences existing between Bismarck and Kalnoky with reference to the Bulgarian ques- 
tion, cf. Heinrich Friedjung, "Graf Kalnoky," Biographisches Jahrbuch, iii, pp. 362 
ff. (reprinted in Historiscke Aufsaize, 1919, pp. 327 ff.). 

m Count Robilant's treaty draft; communicated through Reuss, December 5, 
1886; with the changes suggested by Austria-Hungary, December 19, 1886. 


include the entire Balkan peninsula, since Austria-Hungary's in- 
terests were particularly concerned in the interior of the penin- 
sula. 113 Moreover, as it did not seem desirable to him "to witness 
the establishment of the principle of compensations, which is dis- 
tasteful to us" he doubtless feared that Italy would extend her 
aspirations to Austrian territory, particularly the southern Tyrol 
he demanded the omission of the passage in the Italian draft 
relating to this. 114 Finally, he insisted that Italy should bind her- 
self to furnish active assistance, not merely to observe a benevo- 
lent neutrality, in case Austria-Hungary should be attacked by 
Russia. 115 In justifying this demand to the German government, 
Kalnoky stated that a declaration of such a nature would serve to 
guarantee the material support of Austria-Hungary by Italy, 

113 He eliminated from Robilant's draft the words "sur les c6tes et lies ottomanes 
dans 1'Adriatique et dans la mer Ege"e," and added in a subsequent place (cf . Vol. I, 
p. 108) the words "des Balkans ou des c6tes," etc. which took account of Austro- 
Hungarian interests. In the negotiations which took place between Italy and Aus- 
tria-Hungary after the outbreak of the World War, the interpretation of the words 
"dans les regions des Balcans" played a decisive r61e. Italy, invoking the terms of 
Article VII of the treaty of the Triple Alliance, put forward claims for territorial 
compensation in the event of the occupation of Serbian territory by Austria-Hun- 
gary. The government of Vienna replied with the declaration that the wording of 
Article VII, as well as the origins of this article, made it plain that its provisions ap- 
plied solely to the occupation of Turkish territory, and that no account had been 
taken here of non-Turkish territory in the Balkan peninsula. However, in order to 
strengthen Italy in her then neutral attitude, whch was still regarded in Berlin and 
Vienna as benevolent, Berchtold issued a statement in Rome on August 23, 1914, 
after lengthy negotiations carried on simultaneously with the German government, 
to the effect that the Italian interpretation of the words "dans les regions des Bal- 
cans" was accepted "without reservation" by Germany and Austria-Hungary, not 
only for the present crisis, but as long as the treaty remained in force. (Cf . Diplo- 
matische Aktenstiicke betreffend die Beziehungen Osterreich-Ungarns zu Italien in der 
Zeit vom 20. Juli 191^ bis 23. Mai 1915, p. 44.) No discussion of the question as to 
the correct interpretation of the phrase "dans les regions des Balcans" will be at- 
tempted here; it is certain, however, that the wording adopted was unfortunate. 

114 In Robilant's draft this passage ran as follows: "The 'accord pr6alable' be- 
tween the two powers shall be based 'sur le principe d'une compensation re*ciproque 
donnant satisfaction aux inte*rets et preventions bien fondles des deux parties.' " For 
the definitive wording, cf . Vol. I, p. 108. 

116 Kalnoky gave to this article the following wording: "Si a la suite de pareils 
eve"nements et sans provocation de la part de 1'Autriche-Hongrie une guerre s'6cla- 
tait entre cette derniere et la Russie, 1'Italie s'engage a faire cause commune avec 
son allie* et a prendre part a la guerre." 


whose reliability was greater under the leadership of Robilant, 
"but still not altogether above suspicion." This assistance, in the 
event of an invasion "by an army considerably superior in num- 
bers to our own, would result in a most desirable reenforcement of 
our righting strength, especially as the German army would prob- 
ably be needed in the West to deal with France." The degree of 
seriousness with which Kalnoky made these proposals is indicated 
by the concluding words of his statement: "I must particularly 
emphasize the fact that I should not be able to obtain the assent 
of the ultimate authorities to the supplementary treaty, if, in re- 
turn for the extensive concessions made by us to Italy, the latter 
should pledge herself only to a benevolent neutrality without any 
material counter-service. I could not assume the responsibility of 
committing Austria-Hungary to possible great sacrifices of blood 
and treasure in behalf of Italy, if Italy for her part does not con- 
sent to make similar sacrifices for us." 116 

116 Kalnoky to Sz6chenyi, December 20, 1886. In a second letter to Szechenyi on 
the same date (copy) Kalnoky reiterates his views of Robilant's draft and justifies 
his observations. With regard to his demand for the active participation of Italy in 
an Austro-Russian war, Kalnoky writes: "For our part, it is no more than a justifi- 
able demand if we claim the right to count on Italy's material aid with the same de- 
gree of denniteness as we are pledged to intervene with blood and treasure in Italy's 
behalf, in questions entirely foreign to our own interests. Since Count Robilant, in 
the documents which he has submitted to us, dwells again and again on the possibil- 
ity of active participation in a war against Russia, and since he takes only Austria- 
Hungary and Italy into consideration in dealing with the questions of the Orient, he 
gives us a chance to frame our demands in such a way as to make a direct mention of 
Germany unnecessary." Here also Kalnoky emphasizes the fact that he could not 
possibly conclude the treaty without a counter-obligation on the part of Italy. He 
then continues: "I am well aware what great importance is placed by the German 
cabinet on the conclusion of the treaty; this, in view of France's doubtful attitude, is 
entirely comprehensible. For us, however, whose frontiers do not march with those 
of France, and who have no conflict of interests with her, these matters are only of 
secondary importance, and then only in consideration of our friendly relations with 
Germany. We are ready to show towards Germany the most unreservedly accom- 
modating spirit; but, just as Italy has conspicuously safeguarded her own interests 
and advantages in the treaty draft, so it is our duty as well to have an eye to Austria- 
Hungary's lawful interests." In making his demands, Kalnoky was able to refer to a 
passage from a private letter from Robilant to Launay which was imparted to him 
by Reuss, reading as follows: " State plainly that we are a nation to be relied on, and 
that, unlike the Spaniards, we do not wish to have some one else pull our chestnuts 


Kalnoky's hopes of finding approval of his plans in Berlin were 
not fulfilled. Bismarck wished at all costs to avoid irritating 
Russia, and was exerting his whole influence to prevent her from 
joining forces with a France eager for revenge. For this reason he 
had been insistently urging on Vienna the idea of separate spheres 
of influence in the Balkans for Russia and Austria-Hungary. In 
Kalnoky's proposal to include the Balkans in the regions whose 
territorial status quo was to be guaranteed by the allies, Bismarck 
now saw a move against his plans. 117 Moreover, Kalnoky's desire 
to make sure of Italy's active aid in the event of Russian aggres- 
sion was equally distasteful to him. If this scheme should go 
through, it might be feared that Austria-Hungary, relying on her 
own strength and that of her allies for she had made sure of 
support from Serbia and Rumania through the treaties of 1881 
and 1883 would provoke a war with Russia in which Germany 
as well as Italy would be bound to participate If the chances of 
renewing the Triple Alliance were to be shattered by this demand 
of Kalnoky, the danger loomed up that Italy would unite with 
Russia and France and commence the conflict with the Central 

out of the fire. Within eighteen or twenty days after the mobilization we shall have 
150,000 men on the northwestern frontier for an offensive defensive against France. 
200,000 men that is, six army corps, four divisions of cavalry, and one division of 
Alpine troops would at the same time be ready either to cross the Alps to the 
Rhine, as reenf orcements for the Germans, or to march against the Russians through 
Austria." Kalnoky said that he would be satisfied with two or three army corps of 
auxiliary troops, but that he must be able to count on these with certainty. 

117 In a long conversation between Szech6nyi and Count Berchem, who was privy 
to the negotiations and had been instructed by Herbert Bismarck to receive Kal- 
noky's communications, Berchem declared "that he really did not understand why 
the insertion of the words 'desBalcans' before the words 'ou des cotes ou iles otto- 
manes de PAdriatique ou de la mer EgeV had been insisted on. This, he thought, 
would mean renouncing our freedom of action as respects Italy, in case we wished to 
make a move in the Balkans either independently or with other combinations: for 
instance, if we should happen to have in view a joint occupation of Macedonia with 
Russia. I remarked to him that he was considering very remote and hypothetical 
combinations, whereas we felt obliged to consider the immediate situation, making 
sure, in return for the obligations assumed by us, of a definite counter-obligation in 
the event of our sphere of interests being threatened and this, after all, lies rather 
in the interior of the Balkan peninsula or in the event of our being attacked for 
the purpose of forcing us out of the Balkans." Szechenyi to Kalnoky, December 25, 


Powers at their side. 118 These considerations probably determined 
the German government to proceed swiftly with the negotiations 
with Rome. 119 Toward the beginning of 1887 Robilant sent to 
Berlin his reply to Kalnoky 's proposals. He declared that they 
were unacceptable. What Kalnoky suggested, he declared, were 
not merely amendments, but, so far as Austro-Italian relations 
were concerned, "radical alterations of the principles of the exist- 
ing treaty." 

"According to the treaty of 1882," he wrote, "we are now at 
liberty to take such a position towards possible Austro-Hungarian 
moves in the Balkans as will best correspond with our interests. 
Should war between Russia and Austria-Hungary arise from the 
latter's advances in the Balkans, Austria-Hungary can only ask 
us to observe a benevolent neutrality. Were we to accept the Aus- 
trian counter-proposal, however, we should be playing an entirely 
different role; we should, in a certain sense, be assuming a joint 
responsibility for everything that Austria did, or planned to do, 
in the Balkans; we should be pledged to participate in a war which 
does not seem altogether improbable a war involving difficul- 
ties and sacrifices which are not to be calculated. One should in- 
dulge in no illusions : we should be assuming one of those historic 
responsibilities which not only stamp their impress upon the work 
of a minister, but at times are also a determining factor in the life 
of a nation for generations to come." 12 Under the circumstances, 
continued Robilant, he would prefer to adhere to his own project. 
This would preserve the defensive character of the alliance, afford 
Italy a guarantee of the maintenance of the balance of power in 
the Mediterranean, and, by way of compensation, assure Italy's 

118 Sze"ch6nyi to Kalnoky. Telegram of January 4 and despatch of January 5, 

119 On December 31, 1886, Bruck had already informed Kdlnoky that Robilant 
was annoyed at the way negotiations were being delayed by Bismarck, who 'for- 
merly had always hurried matters along, and could hardly wait for the moment to 
arrive for concluding the treaty.' This was not Launay's opinion. According to 
Chiala, p. 477, Launay wrote at the same tune to Robilant, " Je persiste a croire que 
nous parviendrons a une entente, car le Prince de Bismarck et le Comte Herbert 
sont bien disposes a notre endroit." 

120 Robilant to Launay, January i, 1887. Copy communicated to Kalnoky by 
Herbert Bismarck. 


help to Germany in case she were attacked by France, or to Aus- 
tria-Hungary in the event of a Russo-Turkish or Franco-Russian 
alliance. If Kalnoky nevertheless insisted on alterations, they 
must be so worded as to preserve the balance between the obliga- 
tions and counter-obligations assumed by the allies. Following 
out these statements, Robilant proposed the alternative either of 
accepting Article 2 of the supplementary treaty as worded by him 
that is, without entering into particulars regarding an Austro- 
Russian war, but retaining the final clause objected to by Kal- 
noky, governing the indemnifications of each party in the event 
of an occupation of Balkan territory by Italy or Austria-Hun- 
gary; m or of accepting Kalnoky 's project providing for Italian 
participation hi an Austro-Russian war. In this latter event Ro- 
bilant demanded not only the retention of the above-mentioned 
compensation clause, but also the addition of another clause to the 
following effect: "Austria-Hungary and Italy reserve the right to 
conclude, at a suitable time before the beginning of hostilities, a 
special agreement intended to regulate, on the basis of just in- 
demnification, the territorial changes (combinaisons) which might 
possibly take place as the result of a joint war." m 

The German government held that Robilant's new proposals 
were justified. Herbert Bismarck, who had previously notified 
Szechenyi orally of the substance of Robilant's note, said that in 
view of the fact that Italy "would have to stake blood and trea- 
sure" if Austria-Hungary and Russia were to go to war, her de- 
mands for a corresponding compensation were not unreasonable. 
It also seemed to him "very prudent and proper" that a definite 
agreement in this matter should be reached in advance. "If this 
were not done, there would always be the danger that the two 
allies might disagree at the end of a victorious campaign and come 
to blows with one another. As a result of this, the advantages 
would go to the adversary whom they had just conquered." 

121 Cf. p. 56, note 105. 

122 "L'Autriche-Hongrie et 1'Italie se reservent de stipuler, au moment opportun, 
avant I'entr6e en campagne, un accord special [originally 'ulte'rieur'; this was re- 
placed at Robilant's request by 'sp6cial'] destin6 a rggler sur la base d'une com- 
pensation equitable les combinaisons territoriales qui pourraient eVentuellement 
rsulter de la guerre entreprise en commun." 


These observations, made by Herbert Bismarck in his own 
name, as Secretary of State, were followed by the statement that 
the Imperial Chancellor, to his great regret, was unable to assent 
to the insertion of the words "des Balcans," which Kalnoky had 
suggested and so warmly sponsored. "That would plainly be al- 
luding to Bulgaria," said Herbert Bismarck, "and Bulgaria is re- 
garded by us as belonging within the Russian sphere of influence. 
Our assent to a provision aimed against that sphere is rendered all 
the more impossible by the fact that we would thus be coming into 
conflict with our secret agreement with Russia, which is still in 

Szechenyi replied that the words "des Balcans" had no special 
application whatever to Bulgaria, but covered the Balkan states 
in general, "since our interests," as he put it, "centre in the in- 
terior of the Balkan peninsula, not in its islands and coasts." This 
did not impress Herbert Bismarck, who said that it made very 
little difference; "Bulgaria in any case was included in that 
region." 123 Shortly after, he sent to Vienna a copy of Robilant's 
instruction to Launay, together with the new Italian draft for the 
treaty, and at the same tune communicated through Reuss "that 
we (Germany) find both of Robilant's proposals acceptable, and 
that we should be pleased if Count Kalnoky could accept the Ital- 
ian point of view within the limits defined by them." "We hope," 
he continued, " that he will find it to his own good interests to send 
us an answer which will satisfy Rome and make it possible to pro- 
ceed towards a conclusion of the treaty." 

The attitude of the German government evoked Kalnoky's 
deepest displeasure. He felt that Bismarck was not giving suffi- 
cient consideration to Austria-Hungary's special interests; that he 
was over-emphasizing the danger of a war with France, and that 
he was observing too considerate an attitude towards Russia. A 
speech, delivered by Bismarck in the German Reichstag on Janu- 
ary n, 1887, strengthened his conviction. "The whole problem 
of the Orient," the Imperial Chancellor had declared, "involves 
no question of war for us. We shall allow no one to put a leading- 
rope about our necks and embroil us in difficulties with Rus- 
m Sz6ch6nyi to Kalnoky, January 5, 1887. 


sia." 124 This was a direct threat against Austria-Hungary. In 
uttering it, Bismarck doubtless had no idea of forsaking his ally in 
case she were attacked by Russia; but he plainly let it be known 
just how far he was willing to follow her lead. His speech was at 
the same tune a warning that Italy might be driven into the 
enemy's camp, an admonition not to refuse Robilant's new de- 

He failed, however, of his purpose. Kalnoky stated in his reply 
that " Prince Bismarck's declarations in his recent speech in the 
German Parliament, in which he proclaims to the world at large 
that Germany has no interests in the Orient, and that it is a mat- 
ter of indifference to him who holds sway in Bulgaria or in Con- 
stantinople, has had no inconsiderable weight" in determining the 
attitude of the cabinet of Vienna. 125 On January 16 the decisive 
conference with Reuss took place. 126 Kalnoky spoke in a heated, 
vehement tone; his utterances sounded like an ultimatum to the 
German government. He declined to give any consideration 
whatever to Robilant's new demands. But this was not all. He 
also withdrew the concessions formerly offered by him, and an- 
nounced that he now had in view merely the renewal of the treaty 
of 1882, without any alterations. 

"The more evident it becomes to friend and foe," he said to 
Prince Reuss, "that Austria-Hungary will have to defend single- 
handed her lawful interests on her southeastern frontiers, the 
more our enemies are heartened, and our friends discouraged by 
this fact, the greater care we must take to assume no obligations 
which would involve us in complications outside our own sphere 
of interests. At a moment when our people are speculating, with 
pardonable solicitude, as to the perils which may beset the mon- 
archy to the southeast, and as to the sufficiency of our forces to 
withstand the various hostile elements which threaten us in that 
quarter, it would be indeed a heavy responsibility unnecessarily 
to assume obligations which might draw us into a conflict with 
France over incidents in the far west, or in Tripoli or Morocco, 

124 Horst Kohl, Die politischen Reden des Fiirsten Bismarck, xii, p. 183. 
126 private letter from Kalnoky to Szechenyi, January 20, 1887. 
128 Copy of a private letter to Reuss, Vienna, January 17, 1887. 


where we have no interests whatever, and bind us 'de porter se- 
cours et assistance avec toutes nos forces ' for the purpose of pro- 
tecting Italy and her shores against French attacks by land and 
on sea." m 

Austria-Hungary, he went on to say, needed all her strength 
now, and for the immediate future, in the south and southeast; 
she therefore could not live up to such a promise without doing 
violence to her own interests. It was best to state this fact frankly. 
Italy, moreover, was showing no serious intention of supporting 
Austria-Hungary against Russia. " There may also be some doubt 
as to her ability to do so," Kalnoky pursued, "if the danger of war 
with France becomes more imminent. We are therefore of the 
opinion that it would be as fitting for Italy to drop the demands 
she has made on us exceeding those stipulated in the first treaty as 
for us to renounce the counter-claim of military assistance from 
Italy, which we have demanded for our part. We also believe that 
the vague Italian claims for compensation, on which such stress is 
kid, could only serve to bring about differences and dissensions 
when it comes to practical settlements." Clear-cut understand- 
ings, he said, alone could avail. This was particularly true of the 
provisions relating to the Balkan peninsula. Kalnoky expressed 
the fear that in case Austria-Hungary were to limit her freedom of 
action in the Orient in favor of Italy, she might be drawn into con- 
flict with the obligations she had assumed towards Russia. Now, 
too, he recognized the validity of the objection brought by Her- 
bert Bismarck, in connection with the imminent renewal of the 
League of the Three Emperors, against the insertion of the words 
"des Balcans" in Article II of the supplementary treaty. "As 
regards this question," declared Kalnoky, "it would be advisable, 
in our opinion, to limit ourselves to the originally proposed prom- 
ises that Italy shall be notified in due season, and with due regard 
to her interests, of any changes in the status quo in the Orient, 
which we wish to maintain, and that above all she shall be safe- 
guarded against surprises." At the same time, he had no wish to 
disturb the existing friendly relationship with Italy, which he con- 

m Report of Prince Reuss, January 17, 1887. At the request of Prince Reuss, 
Kalnoky had read this report beiore it was sent to Berlin. 


sidered from the standpoint of peace and of the monarchical in- 
terests, and appreciated at its full value. He persisted, however, 
in believing that the alliance of 1882 fulfilled these purposes, and 
urged that "a way be found at the proper moment for securing a 
more extensive reciprocal support" through "another interpre- 
tation" of Article IV of the treaty. 128 

Kalnoky knew that in making these declarations he retracted 
that to which he had already given his assent; but he felt that the 
interests of his sovereign and his country obliged him to risk the 
displeasure of his allies and the dangers to the monarchy which 
might result from a sudden change in Italian policy. 129 The con- 
sternation of the German statesmen was, in fact, very great. Reuss 
expressed his amazement and alarm at Kalnoky's utterances not 
only to Kalnoky himself but to Emperor Francis Joseph, with 
whom he requested an audience on the same day. "I have spoken 
to His Majesty regarding this matter," he wrote to Kalnoky on 
the evening of January 16, " and said to him what I said to you 
that I am extremely surprised and alarmed by your communica- 
tion, and that I foresee the painful impression which will be 
caused in Berlin by this statement, for which they could not pos- 
sibly be prepared." At the same time he asked Kalnoky "whether 
there can be no more discussion of Tripoli, not even in the non- 
committal sense of Prince Bismarck's proposal, which you will 
surely recall, and which you expressly accepted first on November 
3, and again later, in conversation with Monts." 13 

Kalnoky, however, stood firm. On January 17 Reuss sent the 
very unsatisfactory results of his negotiations to Berlin, where, as 
he had predicted, a most painful impression was caused. A del- 
uge of reproaches was poured on the head of the Austrian am- 

128 Report of Prince Reuss, January 17, 1887. 

m Kalnoky to Sze'che'nyi, January 20, 1887; to Bruck, January 22, 1887. Kal- 
noky did not then believe that, in case the treaty of the Triple Alliance were not re- 
newed, Italy would attack Austria-Hungary from the rear in the event of an Austro- 
Russian war. "We consider that we are protected for the present against a rear at- 
tack from Italy," he wrote Sze'che'nyi, "by the fact that Germany and Italy have 
common interests in regard to France, and will therefore maintain their alliance in 
any event." 

130 Reuss to Kalnoky, January 16, 1887. 


bassador, Count Szechenyi. Herr von Hols tern, who was even 
then an influential figure in the Foreign Office, expressed his con- 
cern over this "not easily comprehensible decision" of Count 
Kalnoky. What would become of Austria-Hungary, he asked, 
if she failed to come to a peaceful settlement with Russia, and at 
the same time cast off her Italian ally? Bismarck so Holstein 
declared had given Vienna the well-meant advice either to 
reach a friendly understanding with Russia regarding the spheres 
of interest of the two powers in the Balkans, or else to attack 
Russia in alliance with other nations. There seemed to be no 
other practical alternative. "If Germany is attacked by France at 
the same time that Austria-Hungary is attacked by Russia, she 
can guarantee her ally none too strong a support. Austria, how- 
ever, is too weak to overcome her powerful adversary single- 
handed. Why, therefore, this holding aloof from Italy?" To 
Szechenyi's objection that no reliance could be placed on the Ital- 
ians, Holstein replied that this distrust was not unjustified, but 
that it was a question, not of a permanent alliance, but of acquir- 
ing a "paid corps of auxiliaries, like the mercenaries of the Middle 
Ages." In order to dispel Kalnoky 's fears that Italy might de- 
mand indemnification in the Tyrol as the price for participation in 
an Austro-Russian war, Holstein declared, after a consultation 
with Launay, that Italy had no such idea. He held it to be self- 
evident that compensations could be exacted only " in the districts 
which had caused the war." "As far as these are concerned," 
added Holstein, "it might be impossible in any event to prevent 
Italy from establishing herself in Albania." m 

Count Herbert Bismarck, recently appointed Secretary of State 
in the Foreign Office, also expressed himself to the same effect. He 
informed Vienna through Reuss that it was useless to think that 
Italy would be willing to renew the Triple Alliance of 1882 as it 
stood, and reminded Kalnoky of the declaration to this effect 
made by Robilant in September, 1886. At the same time he ex- 
erted every effort to dispel the fears of the Austro-Hungarian 
minister, assuring him, as Holstein had previously done, that Italy 
had no idea of territorial acquisitions in southern Tyrol, and that 
131 Sz6ch6nyi to Kalnoky, January 21, 1887. Copy. 


neither she nor the German government counted on Austro-Hun- 
garian 'action' in the West in the event that Germany should be- 
come involved in war with France. 132 All these efforts were fruit- 
less. Kalnoky's attitude remained unchanged and the deadlock 
in the negotiations continued. Italy would not renew the old 
treaty without the proposed alterations; Austria-Hungary would 
not accede to Italy's wishes, particularly to those which might 
draw her into a conflict with France. There appeared to be no 
way out of the dilemma. 

Finally, however, the desire of the three powers to renew the 
Triple Alliance, the value of which was fully appreciated by the 
various signatories, reached fulfilment in spite of all difficulties. 
On January 27, 1887, Bismarck instructed Reuss to inform the 
Austrian government that Count Robilant was ready to abandon 
his original scheme, according to which the supplementary treaty 
was to be signed by all three powers, its various articles binding 
the signatories in equal degree, as in the case of the Triple 
Alliance of 1882. Instead of this, the treaty of 1882 was to be re- 
newed as it stood, and at the same time two supplementary agree- 
ments, one with Germany and one with Austria-Hungary, would 
be concluded. From the latter the provisions objected to by 
Kalnoky, in so far as they related to Tripoli and Morocco, would 
be omitted; Austria-Hungary would thus incur obligations toward 
Italy only in the matter of her Balkan policy. As regards this 
point, Robilant adhered to the alternative proposed by him to- 
ward the beginning of the year. This, as we know, provided for 
the indemnification of Italy in the event of a temporary or per- 
manent occupation of Balkan territory by Austria-Hungary; 
moreover, if Austria-Hungary wished Italy to participate on her 
side in an Austro-Russian war, the question of the compensation 
to be received by Italy in return for her services was to be settled 
before her entrance into the field. 133 Prince Bismarck, in impart- 
ing these new proposals of Robilant to the cabinet of Vienna, 
also let it be known that the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs 

132 Copy of a letter from Herbert Bismarck to Reuss, January 24, 1887, and 
Sze"ch6nyi's despatch to Kalnoky, January 26, 1887. 

133 Cf. p. 65. 


had definitely resolved that, in case Kalnoky should not accept 
the Italian proposals, he would conclude a dual alliance with Ger- 
many, "who had raised no objections to his first scheme." 134 

The decisive moment had arrived for Kalnoky. Should he ac- 
cept Robilant's proposals, or decline them ? He knew that Bis- 
marck was backing Robilant. He could assume that the Imperial 
Chancellor had taken a prominent part in drawing up the new 
project of compromise that it was due to him that Austria- 
Hungary was no longer called upon to pledge herself to intervene 
in behalf of Italian interests in North Africa, or to send her sol- 
diers against France for the sake of Tripoli or Morocco. In his 
conversations with German and Italian statesmen, Kalnoky had 
always stressed the fact that he was unable to advise his sover- 
eign to sign the treaty principally because Austro-Hungarian 
troops might thus be engaged in the West at a moment when they 
were needed in the East to defend the vital interests of the mon- 
archy. With this obstacle removed, should he now, in the face of 
the ever-increasing danger of a bloody conflict with Russia, deeply 
offend one ally and drive the other into the enemy's camp ? To be 
sure, there still remained the demands which Italy wished to exact 
from Austria-Hungary in the event of territorial changes in the 
Balkans, and in return for the participation by Italian troops in an 

134 Excerpt from Prince Bismarck's despatch to Reuss, January 27, 1887. In con- 
nection with the point of controversy raised by the new project, I give herewith the 
passages in Bismarck's despatch relating to this matter: "According to the notes 
which I was able to take, the instruction read to me by Count Launay ran as follows: 
'Pour de"f6rer & 1'opinion du prince et pour 6puiser tous les moyens propres a main- 
tenir l'Autriche-Hongrie dans le groupe allie, je puis me decider L admettre pour ce 
que regarde cette puissance le simple renouvellement du traite de 1882 avec un en- 
gagement separe* concernant sa politique en Orient, mais ceci sous la condition que 
^arrangement separe" entre PAutriche et 1'Italie comprenne toute la teneur de Particle 
2 tel qu'U figure dans le projet que par mon telegramme du i Janvier je declarais, en 
suite de la premiere reponse de Vienne, etre prtt a adopter en lieu et place de mon projet 
originaire. L'alinea I de Particle 2 est purement platonique et ne reproduit qu'une 
d6claration que tous les cabinets ne cessent d'e*changer entre eux; s'il e*tait etabli & 
lui seul et formait tout le texte de Parrangement se"pare, il serait sans valeur et lais- 
serait la porte toute grande ouverte & toute sorte d'eventualite's le jour ou le maintien 
du status quo ne serait plus possible d'apres le jugement de PAutriche. II faut done 
computer Paline*a premier par Paline*a deuxieme, qui seul nous pre*munit contre 
toute surprise, et qui assure aux mouvements des deux puissances en Orient la base 
d'une entente pre"alable.' " 


Austro-Russian war. We know how Kalnoky shrank from limit- 
ing his freedom of action in his Balkan policy, and how well he 
realized the dangers which, sooner or later, would beset his coun- 
try were Italy to extend her sphere of interests to the Balkans or 
seize territory on the farther shore of the Adriatic. After mature 
reflection, however, he decided that a bird in the hand was, after 
all, worth two in the bush. 

"In view of developments in the East while the negotiations 
were in progress," he wrote to Szechenyi, "it would have been im- 
possible for us to assume obligations which might have drawn us 
into war with France. This would have run counter to our inter- 
ests, without being of any real profit to Italy. Now that this in- 
surmountable difficulty has been removed by the elimination of 
Articles III and IV, we can overlook many other objections, and 
accept the last draft submitted to us by Prince Bismarck without 
change. We also agree to the proposed manner of renewing the 
old treaty." 135 He went on to say that he must express only two 
wishes, on the observance of which Emperor Francis Joseph laid 
especial emphasis. These related to the proposed indemnification 
of the Italians. Kalnoky insisted categorically on the acceptance 
of a clause stating "that Austria-Hungary regards her continued 
occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will end as a matter 
of course in a permanent annexation by Austria-Hungary, as in- 
cluded in the existing status quo; and that neither this occupa- 
tion, which has already lasted for years, nor the consummation of 
the annexation, would empower Italy to put forward claims for 
compensations." 136 In addition to this, he demanded a clear dec- 
laration that under no circumstances should the Trentino be in- 
cluded in the territorial compensations which might be accorded 
Italy in return for assisting Austria-Hungary in a war against 
Russia. 137 

135 Kalnoky to Szechenyi, February 2, 1887. Private letter (summary and copy). 

136 Draft of the Austro-Italian treaty after the last modifications had been made, 
January 30, 1887. The decisive words are as follows: "base" sur le principe d'une 
compensation rSciproque pour tout avantage territorial ou autre que chacune d'elles 
obtiendrait en sus du status quo actuel." 

137 Kalnoky to Szechgnyi, February 2, 1887. The passage contemplating the par- 
ticipation by Italy in an Austro-Russian war, and the compensations to be guar- 


Kalnoky's accommodating attitude caused the greatest rejoic- 
ing in Berlin. Herbert Bismarck declared that he did not doubt 
for a moment that both of Kalnoky's justifiable demands would 
be accepted by the Italians, and requested that plenipotentiaries 
be immediately sent for the signing of the treaty, which, he hoped, 
would take place on February i2. 138 At the last moment, however, 
a new difficulty presented itself. The Italian government, moved 
doubtless by the bad news from Massowah, declared that it had 
never intended to give Austria-Hungary Italy's active support in 
an Austro-Russian war, unless Austria-Hungary assumed a like 
obligation hi the event of hostilities between Italy and France 
over Tripoli and Morocco. 139 At the same time Launay presented 
a new version of the Austro-Italian treaty, in which no mention 
was made of Italian participation in an Austro-Russian war, or, 
correspondingly, of Italy's compensations. 140 It was to no pur- 

anteed to Italy in return, read as follows in the treaty draft of January 30, 1887: 
"Si a la suite de pareils evenements et sans provocation de la part de PAutriche- 
Hongrie une guerre eclatait entre cette derniere et la Russie, PItalie s'engage a faire 
cause commune avec son allie et a prendre part a la guerre. L'Autriche-Hongrie et 
PItalie se reservent de stipuler au moment opportun, avant Pentree en campagne, un 
accord special destin6 a regler, sur la base d'une compensation equitable, les combi- 
naisons territoriales qui pourraient eventuellement resulter de la guerre entreprise 
en commun." This passage was later eliminated at Italy's instigation. See p. 77. 

138 Sze'che'nyi to Kalnoky, February 4, 1887. 

139 Robilant to Launay, telegram, February 5, 1887 (copy). "J'ai encore relu 
mon tetegramme du 25 Janvier, et je ne reussis vraiment pas a m'expliquer de quelle 
facon le malentendu que V. E. me signale a pu se former. J'avais eu soin en effet de 
dire tres-nettement dans ce te"legramme que Parrangement separe entre nous et 
PAutriche-Hongrie ne devait reproduire que le premier et le deuxieme alinea de 
Particle deux. Si en parlant du deuxieme alinea, je me suis refere a mon telegramme 
du i Janvier, c'est parce que je tenais a ce que cet alinea fut concu d'apres le texte 
cite" dans ce telgramme, c'est-a-dire contenant la mention explicite des Balcans, et 
non d'apres le texte de mon projet originaire, ou cette mention n'existe pas. Si, au 
contraire, j'avais eu Pidee de faire egalement figurer dans Parrangement separ6 italo- 
autrichien le casus foederis envers la Russie, je Paurais evidemment annonc6, tandis 
que rien dans mon telegramme du 25 Janvier laisse supposer une pareille intention." 
Kalnoky's interpretation is shown by his private letter to Sze'che'nyi (February 2, 
1887), in which he says: "Moreover, Article II applies to Germany only as far as the 
close of Paragraph 2, while the whole remaining portion of Article II. according to 
Count Robilant's final version, would remain binding with regard to Austria-Hun- 
gary." He transmitted at the same tune a copy of a draft "as it stands after the last 
negotiations." Cf. note 137, supra. 

140 This wording corresponds verbatim to that of the final treaty. Cf . Vol. I, 


pose that Herbert Bismarck referred to the original text of Robi- 
lant's declaration, and pointed out that Italy had made the prom- 
ises which she was now disavowing. Launay only replied that the 
wording had not been fortunate; that a part of the blame was his, 
since he had failed to make Robilant's comments sufficiently 
clear. 141 Even Prince Bismarck's efforts to bring Robilant around 
were fruitless. The latter 's reply was so brusquely unfavorable 
that all hope was abandoned in Berlin of coming to terms with 
the Italians. 

Bismarck therefore found it necessary to bring fresh pressure to 
bear on the Austrian government. He pointed out the danger that 
Italy her hopes blighted by the recent defeat at Dogali, her 
pride wounded, unable to stand alone, and repulsed by the Cen- 
tral Powers might fling herself into the arms of France and 
Russia. The menacing spectre of a coalition of France, Russia and 
Italy, directed against the Central Powers, rose once more before 
Bismarck's eyes and spurred him on to make every attempt to 
avert the peril. On February 10 he counselled Vienna with the 
greatest urgency to accept the draft as it stood. He declared that 
the main object namely, the safeguarding of Austria-Hungary 
against an attack from the south while she was waging war on 
Russia had been attained through Italy's promise of benevo- 
lent neutrality; the substance of the supplementary treaty was 
non-committal. Even the pledge of reciprocal compensations was 
dependent on an agreement which had previously to be reached at 
a suitable time, and which Austria-Hungary could always prevent 
whenever she wished. 142 Soon after this Holstein expressed him- 
self to the same effect to Szechenyi. He referred angrily to the 
"pourboire paragraphs," but emphasized the necessity of yielding. 

p. 108. In the draft, however, there are lacking the words inserted into the final treaty 
after "compensation rgciproque" and before "et donnant," etc., at Kalnoky's re- 
quest. Cf. p. 73. These words read as follows: "pour tout avantage territorial ou 
autre que chacune d'elles obtiendrait en sus du statu quo actuel." 

141 Sz6ch6nyi to Kalnoky, February 6 and 9, 1887. In the letter of February 6, 
Sz^ch6nyi states that the conversation between Herbert Bismarck and Launay had 
been very stormy. It had ended with Bismarck's remark: " je dois vous preVenir que 
votre gouvernement desobligerait fortement mon pere en faisant 6chouer cette 
affaire au moment ou il devait la croire parfaitement r6g!6e." 

142 Excerpt from a note to Reuss; communicated February 10, 1887. 


Szeche'nyi replied that he was not at the moment in a position to 
do so; he wrote, however, to his friend Kalnoky that there were 
certain cases and this certainly seemed to be one of them 
when benevolent neutrality was worth as much as a whole army. 
"It is annoying," he added, "but nevertheless true, that the Ital- 
ians, who gain a province after every defeat, are now to be en- 
abled to gather hi booty without having fired a shot. And in the 
last analysis they will not even observe the neutrality which they 
have promised. That is the sort of thing one must expect from 
a country where the mob wields the sceptre." 14S A few days later 
Kalnoky was informed by Reuss that the two conditions stipu- 
lated by him at the beginning of February had been accepted by 
Italy. 144 

On February 18, Bismarck, as though wishing to help his Aus- 
trian colleague to bear the heavy burden of responsibility, in- 
formed Kalnoky that he had thoroughly examined the new treaty 
draft, and felt that he was able to recommend with the greatest 
conviction that it be accepted unchanged. He pointed out that 
the wishes of Emperor Francis Joseph and Kalnoky had been re- 
spected in the new version. "A wording fully satisfying all parties 
and eventualities in the case of so complicated an agreement 
would be hard to find," he said. "For this reason we have from 
the first abs tamed from suggesting alterations, although we should 
have been glad to give a different reading to many passages 
in our own separate agreement. This wish must be sacrificed 
to the great purpose which we wish to attain through the re- 
newal and extension of the treaty of the Triple Alliance. " 145 The 
pressure exerted by these representations, and still more the reali- 
zation that, under the existing circumstances, Italy's benevolent 
neutrality implied no mean advantages for the Dual Monarchy in 
view of the ever-increasing peril of an Austro-Russian war, caused 
Kalnoky to abandon his opposition. He therefore let drop the 

143 Szechgnyi to Kalnoky, February 12, 1887. 

144 Extract from a private letter from Herbert Bismarck to Reuss, which was com-' 
municated to Kalnoky on February 17, 1887. 

146 Extract from Prince Bismarck's letter to Reuss. Communicated on February 
18, 1887. 


provision relating to the conditions under which Italy should par- 
ticipate in an Austro-Russian war, 146 and instructed Count Sze- 
chenyi to sign the treaties. 147 This was done at three o'clock in the 
afternoon of February 20 in Prince Bismarck's conservatory. 148 
It was decided to inform the public which had already profited 
by certain indiscreet communications of the Italian press 149 
that the Triple Alliance had been renewed. Its substance, as pre- 
viously, was to be kept secret. 

There were, in all, four documents which were signed that day 
in Berlin. First, an additional treaty, subscribed to by the repre- 
sentatives of all three states. This contained only the confirma- 
tion of the Triple Alliance of May 20, 1882, and the establishment 
of the duration of the new treaty until May 30, i892. 150 Second, a 
separate treaty between Austria-Hungary and Italy, containing 
four articles, the first of which the only one of real importance 
- governed the conduct of both powers in questions relating to 
the Near East. By means of a wording which took into account 
the wishes of both governments, this article primarily expressed 
the desire for the maintenance of the territorial status quo in the 
Orient as long as possible. It pledged them to use their influence 
to avert any territorial changes in these regions which might take 
place to the disadvantage of either party. Furthermore, they 
promised to impart to one another all information of a nature to 

146 The wording of this passage is given on p. 74. The necessity of taking pre- 
cautions lest Italy claim compensations in the Tyrol for her participation in an 
Austro-Russian war an eventuality already foreseen by Kalnoky was thus 
clearly eliminated. 

147 In his communication to Bruck of February 15, 1887, Kalnoky gave detailed 
report in this matter. Among other things, he wrote: "At the last moment Count 
Robilant, using the more or less valid pretext of a misunderstanding, has again in- 
terpreted away and revoked the promise which had already been made to us of mili- 
tary assistance from Italy in the event of an emergency. I shall offer no opinion as to 
whether this decision was influenced by the bad news from Massowah ( ! ), and I have 
avoided being drawn into a discussion of the matter. It has not been difficult to 
forego these possible auxiliary troops, on the practical value and timely despatch of 
which I never placed great reliance, and to let drop the provision relating to them." 

148 Sze'che'nyi to Kalnoky, February 23, 1887. 

149 Baron Bruck to Kalnoky, February 26, 1887. 

160 Compare the text, Vol. I, pp. 104 ff. May 30 was selected at Italy's request, 
because the ratifications had been exchanged on May 30, 1882. 


throw light on the measures 151 taken by themselves as well as by 
other powers. "However," the text continues, "if, in the course 
of events, the maintenance of the status quo in the regions of the 
Balkans 152 or of the Ottoman coasts and islands hi the Adriatic 
and in the Aegean Sea should become impossible, and if, whether 
in consequence of the action of a third power or otherwise, Aus- 
tria-Hungary or Italy should find themselves under the necessity 
of modifying it by a temporary or permanent occupation on their 
part, this occupation shall take place only after a previous agree- 
ment between the two powers aforesaid, based upon the principle 
of a reciprocal compensation for every advantage, territorial or 
other, which each of them might obtain beyond the present status 
quo, 153 and giving satisfaction to the interests and well founded 
claims of the two parties." 154 

It is beyond doubt that the acceptance of this article implied a 
great victory for Italy. She had attained one of her chief aims; 
recognition by Austria as a power with equal rights in the Balkans. 
From now on she could be sure of not being overlooked in the 
event of a division of Turkish territory in that region. Her hopes 
of an extension of Italian territory on the farther shore of the 
Adriatic now had a real foundation, which was doubly precious at 
a moment when her far-reaching colonial plans in Africa had 
proved impracticable. All this had been attained by Italy without 
pledging herself to participate in an Austro-Russian war not 
even if her ally should be attacked by Russia, for in such a case 
Italy was bound to observe only a benevolent neutrality. She 
could take part in the conflict, however, if she saw fit to do so, 
and exact payment with new concessions. 

The provisions of the separate treaty concluded on the same 
day between Germany and Italy were no less favorable to the 

161 The word dispositions is here perhaps equivalent rather to " Massnahmen " 
than to " Absichten," which represents it in the official German translation. On 
this point see Frakn6i's observations, op. tit., p. 43. 

162 The words "des Balcans" were inserted at Austria-Hungary's request. Cf. 
p. 61, note 113. 

163 The words "en sus du status quo actuel" were inserted at Kalnoky's instance. 
Cf. p. 73- 

164 Cf. the text, Vol. I, p. 109. 


latter power. This treaty included seven articles. The first, cor- 
responding to the first article of the Austro-Italian treaty, con- 
tained the promise of both Powers to maintain the status quo in 
the Orient; however, the reciprocal pledge given by Germany and 
Italy to exert all their influence towards averting territorial 
changes was expressly limited to the Turkish coasts and islands in 
the Adriatic and Aegean seas. This eliminated the provisions con- 
tained in the Austro-Italian treaty regarding the circumstances 
under which a temporary or permanent occupation of Balkan ter- 
ritory by one or the other power might take place. 155 The second 
article expressly stipulated that the joint measures contemplated 
in Article I had no relation to the Egyptian question. Both powers 
reserved for themselves a freedom of decision as regards Egypt, 
in so far as this did not run counter to the principles laid down by 
the alliance of 1882 and the present treaty. 

The most notable concessions agreed to by Bismarck in order to 
keep Italy in the alliance formed the substance of Articles III and 
IV of this treaty. They dealt with the possibility of a war be- 
tween France and Italy, and laid upon the German government 
considerably more extensive obligations than those established 
by the treaty of 1882. At that time Germany had promised only 
to come to Italy's assistance in case she should be the victim of an 
unprovoked attack by France. Now she assumed the further ob- 
ligation to assist Italy actively, under certain conditions, if she 
were to undertake an offensive war against France. "Should 
France" so reads Article III of the German-Italian treaty 
"extend her occupation or her protectorate or her sovereignty, 
under any form whatsoever, in the North African territories, 
whether of the vilayet of Tripoli or of the Moroccan empire, and, 
as a result thereof, should Italy, in order to safeguard her position 
in the Mediterranean, feel that she must herself undertake action 
in the said North African territories, or even have recourse to ex- 
treme measures in French territory hi Europe, the state of war 
which would thereby ensue between Italy and France would con- 
stitute ipso facto, on the demand of Italy and at the common 
charge of the two allies, the casus foederis with all the effects fore- 
i" Cf. the text, Vol. I, pp. no ff. 


seen by Articles II and V of the treaty of May 20, 1882, as if such 
an eventuality were expressly contemplated therein." 156 In order 
that no exaggerated estimate be formed of the sacrifices which 
Bismarck made to the Italians through this compromise, it is 
well to remember that, at the time when he caused the treaty to 
be signed, he already knew that England had simultaneously 
assumed the obligation to protect Italian interests in North 
Africa. 167 

Article IV of the German-Italian treaty was particularly profit- 
able to Italy. It read as follows: "If the fortunes of any war 
undertaken in common against France should lead Italy to seek 
for territorial guaranties with respect to France for the security of 
the frontiers of the kingdom and of her maritime position, as well 
as with a view to the stability of peace, Germany will present no 
obstacle thereto; and, if need be, and in a measure compatible 
with circumstances, will apply herself to facilitating the means of 
attaining such a purpose." 158 What Bismarck meant by these 
"guaranties" and for what reasons he was ready to fulfil Italy's 
wishes in this respect, may be learned from the observations he let 
fall to Crown Prince Rudolph shortly after the conclusion of this 
treaty. It was necessary, he said, " to mollify Italy as far as possi- 
ble and bind her to the Central Powers by means of gifts, such 
as could be made in the shape of Nice, Corsica, Albania, and ter- 
ritories on the North African coast." 159 

The fourth document, which was signed the same day by the 
representatives of all three powers, was intended 16 to express the 

168 See Vol. I, p. 113. No information is to be found in the Vienna State Archives 
regarding the negotiations which led to the conclusion of the German-Italian 
separate agreement. 

! Cf . Vol. I, pp. 94 ff. 

168 Cf. Vol. I, p. 113. The Austrian government first learned of the contents of 
this article when a copy of the German-Italian separate agreement was given it upon 
the conclusion of the treaty. In the drafts in Kalnoky's possession there is no men- 
tion of such a promise on the part of Germany. It would appear that the negotiations 
relating thereto were not entered into until the last weeks before the conclusion of 
the treaty, when the idea of a single treaty, binding on all parties, was dropped. 

169 Crown Prince Rudolph's report of his conversation with Prince Bismarck, 
March 17, 1887. 

160 Cf. Vol. I, p. 115. As Sz6ch6nyi informed Kalnoky on February 20, Holstein 
had told him, by instruction from Bismarck, that Robilant had proposed this. Bis- 


idea that the joint additional treaty as well as the two separate 
treaties formed one great whole, and were designed to serve in 
common the same purpose, the preservation of peace. 161 

marck had not been favorably impressed by this eleventh-hour request, "in which 
he saw only a wholly superfluous formality, another instance of a distressing desire 
for endless new projects; but in consideration of the fact that 'pock-marked men are 
twice as sensitive as others,' and that the paper contains nothing that is not obvious 
and simple, he had not refused his assent." Sze"ch6nyi telegraphed to Kalnoky and 
immediately received authorization to sign. 

161 Julius Hansen, in his book Ambassade d Paris du Baron de Mohrenheim 
(1884-1898), page 91, says: " In addition to the official treaty of the Triple Alliance, 
to which Crispi caused the military protocols to be added, oral agreements also 
existed between King Humbert and Emperor William, according to which these two 
monarchs gave their word of honor to remain true to the alliance, and to exert pres- 
sure on their ministers in order to forestall any possibility of its rupture. These 
confidential agreements were communicated to Emperor Francis Joseph, who also 
subscribed to them. This understanding, reached in 1889, was recorded by means of 
autograph letters which the three sovereigns exchanged with one another. This is 
the truth of the matter." It is doubtful, however, whether this was " the truth of the 
matter." No protocols governing military conventions were added to the treaty of 
1887. No such military convention yet existed. Negotiations to this end came to 
nothing. Not until January, 1888, was a convention of this nature concluded be- 
tween Germany and Italy. Austria-Hungary participated in it only in so far as the 
passage of Italian troops to the western frontier for the support of Germany was 
concerned (cf. p. 86, note 173). The "autograph letters" of the sovereigns were not 
to be found in the Vienna State Archives. Their existence is also argued against by 
the fact that Francis Joseph, according to Hansen's assertion (p. 92), is said to have 
demanded "that the general nature of the alliance, as it is characterized in the dip- 
lomatic treaties, should be expressed in plain, intelligible terms. It should be made 
unmistakably clear that the treaty has a purely defensive purpose, establishing the 
casus foederis only in the event that one of the three allied powers should be attacked; 
and that the casus foederis is not to be established if one of the allies should deem it 
opportune to enter into action at its own peril." The purely defensive nature of the 
Triple Alliance is so clearly defined in the treaty itself that no especial emphasis of 
this fact by Francis Joseph was called for. 



MAY 6, 1891 

THE renewal of the Triple Alliance in February, 1887, was ac- 
complished only after prolonged negotiations, and was dearly paid 
for by the Central Powers; while the mutual distrust between 
Italy and Austria-Hungary remained undispelled. 162 In fact, the 
points of friction had multiplied through Italy's freshly acquired 
right to a decisive voice in the Balkan questions. At first, how- 
ever, the beneficent results of the new and more effective coop- 
eration of the three powers were evident. The Triple Alliance 
became a bulwark against French projects of revenge as well as 
against Russia's efforts to extend her sphere of influence in the 
Balkans, both of which perils assumed more threatening propor- 
tions during 1887, and, toward the end of that year and the 
beginning of 1888, brought Europe to the verge of war. The struc- 
ture erected by Bismarck's masterly skill for the safeguarding 
of peace had as its core the alliance between Germany, Austria- 
Hungary, and Italy, around which numerous other powers were 
grouped as more or less stalwart buttresses. 

Two agreements, concluded with the assistance of Germany in 
February and March and in December, 1887, between England, 
Austria-Hungary, and Italy 163 assured to the last two powers 

162 As an evidence of the lack of confidence in the straightforwardness of the Ital- 
ian policy felt by the statesmen of the Central Powers accredited to the Italian court, 
the fact may be cited that on February 26, 1887 the ratifications of the treaty 
of the Triple Alliance of February 20 had not then been exchanged, and a change 
of ministry was imminent Bruck wrote the following words to Kalnoky : "In the 
case of a war between France and Germany, the Italians will probably wait to see 
how the first battles turn out; only then will they decide whether to participate ac- 
tively or to assume a passive attitude. There will probably be much noise and little 

183 Cf. the texts of these two agreements, Vol. I, pp. 94-103, 124-133. In a sub- 
sequent portion of this work the negotiations preceding their conclusion will be 
treated in detail. Some light is thrown on this matter by the literary legacy of Crispi, 


and thus indirectly to the Triple Alliance the cooperation of 
the British fleet against French advances in the western Mediter- 
ranean and also against the Russian menace of Constantinople 
and the Dardanelles. The more intimate association of England 
with the Central Powers, a " moral extension of the Triple Alliance 
across the English Channel," 164 was thus obtained. In May, 
1887, the cooperation of Spain was secured in the event of joint 
action in the Mediterranean. 165 As the result of this step 
prompted also by Germany Spain might be made use of against 
France, just as Rumania, 166 allied to the Central Powers since 
1883, might be employed against Russia. 

The assistance of Milan of Serbia, whose personal dependence 
on Austria-Hungary to whom he owed the maintenance of his 
throne was continually increasing, could be definitely counted 
upon in the event of a conflict with Russia. These taken together, 
were powerful forces, which might well deter any adversary from 
beginning hostilities. We know, however, that Bismarck's meas- 
ures for the protection of Germany went still further. On June 
18, 1887, before the expiration of the agreement signed in 1881 
and renewed in 1884 between the three empires, he concluded a 
treaty of reinsurance with Russia, without the knowledge of the 
Austrian government, which pledged Russia to neutrality in case 
Germany should be attacked by France, and laid upon Germany 
a similar obligation in case Austria-Hungary should advance 
against Russia. 167 This security on all sides and against every 
eventuality enabled Prince Bismarck to pursue toward allies and 

especially Questioni internazionali, pp. 179 ff. Bismarck's letter to Salisbury of 
November 22, 1887, is of the greatest interest. Its text will be found in J. V. 
Fuller's Bismarck's Diplomacy at its Zenith (Cambridge, 1921); and (translated 
into German) in Hammann, op. cit. t pp. 154 ff. 

164 H. Oncken, Das alte und das neue Mitteleuropa, p. 47. 

165 The agreement between Spain and Italy was concluded on May 4, 1887. 
Austria-Hungary and Germany also subscribed to it. See Vol. I, pp. 116-123. 

166 The treaty between Austria-Hungary and Rumania was concluded at Vienna 
on October 30, 1883. Germany subscribed to it on the same day, and Italy on May 
15, 1888. See Vol. I, pp. 78-89. In a subsequent portion of this work this treaty and 
its repeated renewals will be dealt with. 

167 Cf. Otto Hammann, Zur Vorgeschichte des Weltkrieges, pp. 33 ff., and the liter- 
ature cited there. Further details regarding the treaty of reinsurance will be given 
in the comments on the Austro-Russian treaties. Cf. the text, Vol. I, pp. 274-281. 


opponents alike those tactics of threats and promises, admoni- 
tions and pleadings, pacifications and elucidations, by means of 
which he attained the goal he held unswervingly before him, the 
maintenance of the peace of Europe. It was a dangerous game 
that he was playing. Only a master like himself could hope to 
bring the ship of state through all the rocks and shoals into safe 
harbor. As Emperor William I once said, he was like a rider who 
juggled on horseback with five balls, never letting fall one. 168 
There were moments when he himself was frightened at what he 
had done when he feared that the irreconcilable differences be- 
tween the Balkan policies of Russia and Austria-Hungary would 
burst the Dual and Triple Alliances asunder. 

Outwardly, however, Bismarck gave no signs of these misgiv- 
ings. Even in the days when his differences with the cabinet of 
Vienna had reached an alarming acuteness, he had unremittingly 
praised the Dual Alliance, as well as the Triple Alliance, as the 
strongest safeguard of peace. "Italy and Germany are living in 
peace with Austria-Hungary," he declared in February, 1888, 
"and they have the aim in common with Austria-Hungary to 
ward off the perils which threaten them in common." In these 
efforts he was strongly supported by Francesco Crispi, who had 
been guiding the policy of Italy since July, 1887. Crispi was a 
faithful partisan of the Triple Alliance, whose earnest desire 
it was not only to strengthen the ties of friendship with Ger- 
many, 169 but also to eliminate the ceaselessly arising difficulties 
which blocked the way to a better relationship between Italy and 
Austria-Hungary. To this end he entered into negotiations with 
Kalnoky in August, i888, 170 broke up the Irredentist societies for 
Trieste and Trent in the following year, 171 and induced King 

168 Hermann Hofmann, Fiirst Bismarck, 1890-1898, iii, p. 183. 

169 With regard to Crispi's negotiations with Bismarck, cf. Crispi, Memoirs, ii, 
pp. 207-240. 

170 This did not prevent Crispi from reverting to the old custom and complaining 
once more about the bad treatment which his countrymen were alleged to be receiv- 
ing in Austria. To Herbert Bismarck, who appeared in Rome with Emperor William 
II in the fall of 1888, he spoke of the necessity of safeguarding the Italian frontiers 
against Austria. Cf . Crispi, Memoirs, ii, p. 348. 

171 As regards Crispi's attitude, cf . Palamenghi-Crispi, Questioni internazionali, p. 


Humbert to affirm in Berlin his faithful adherence to the Triple 
Alliance. This attitude did not go unrewarded. Bismarck gave 
his most outspoken support to the Italian government when 
France, angered by Crispins friendliness toward the Central Pow- 
ers, began a vigorous tariff war against Italy and caused her 
weaker adversary serious losses. At the same time Bismarck ne- 
gotiated with England for the purpose of securing for his ally the 
cooperation of the British fleet in the event of a French attack on 
the Italian coast. At Crispins request, the cabinet of Vienna also 
used its influence at London in behalf of Italy. Crispi's efforts to 
secure Austria-Hungary's assent to a military convention on land 
and at sea fell flat, 172 however, although the German government, 
which had concluded an agreement with Italy in the beginning of 
1888 providing for reciprocal military support on land, 173 vigor- 

172 As early as March, 1889, Crispi had brought forward a proposal for a naval 
convention, which, however, was refused by Kalnoky. (Bruck to Kalnoky, March 
12, 1889; Kalnoky to Bruck, March 19, 1889.) Kalnoky took the stand that in dis- 
cussing the eventuality of cooperation between the fleets, wholly different political 
questions and wholly different acts would necessarily be contemplated. Events in 
the eastern basin of the Mediterranean would have a much more profound and direct 
significance for Austria-Hungary than those which might take place off the western 
coasts of the Mediterranean. This difference between the scenes of action, as well as 
between the interests in question, would offer an almost insuperable obstacle to any 
attempt to realize in concrete form the idea of cooperation between the two fleets. 
"Our fleet is excellent," he said, "but in size it is not to be compared with those of 
the Great Powers. I can therefore only repeat that the basic requisite of a prudent 
Italian foreign policy is to make sure of England's protection. Until this is done, I 
consider Italy incapable of action, since fear for the safety of her coasts would par- 
alyze the country and its people, and would prove stronger than the most energetic 

173 The text of this German-Italian agreement is not available. Austria-Hun- 
gary was involved in it to the extent that she incurred obligations for the transporta- 
tion and sustenance of Italian troops that were to fight in the West with Germany 
against France. The basis for Austria-Hungary's cooperation was established in a 
memorandum signed on January 28, 1888, by Baron Karl von Steininger, the Aus- 
tro-Hungarian military attache" in Berlin, Count Alfred Schlieffen, the German rep- 
resentative, and Count Victor Emmanuel Dabormida and Cavalier M. Albertone, the 
representatives of Italy. This memorandum bears the title : "M6moire indiquant les 
vues 6chang6es a Berlin entre les d616gu6s militaires des trois puissances centrales 
pendant le mois de Janvier 1888." The introductory words read: "Dans le cas ou la 
guerre viendrait a e"clater entre les trois puissances centrales d'une part et la France 
et la Russie de 1'autre, tandis que la plus grande partie des forces italiennes attaque- 
rait la France sur la frontiere des Alpes, le reste se joindrait aux forces le TAlle- 


ously supported Crispins demands in Vienna. It was due to Kal- 
noky's wish not to offend Crispi that he did not brusquely decline 
his proposals; he remarked instead to Count Nigra, who had pre- 

magne, destinees a oprer au dela du Rhin dans le but de concourir avec dies aux 
operations actives qui seraient diriges centre la France sur ce theatre de guerre." 

It provided for the transportation of six army corps and three cavalry divisions, 
grouped in one or two armies, the commanders of which were to receive their mili- 
tary orders from the commander of the German army. Since the union of these 
troops with the Germans was to take place "a travers le territoire" of Austria-Hun- 
gary, that state put three transport routes at their disposition: (i) Cormons- 
Vienna-Wels-Passau; (2) Pontafel-St.Michael-Selzthal-Salzburg; and (3) Ala- 
Innsbruck-Arlberg-Bregenz or Innsbruck-Kufstein. Further provisions dealt with 
the number of trains, the beginning of the transportation, etc. The more detailed 
provisions were to be incorporated in a separate agreement between Austria-Hun- 
gary and Italy. As a matter of fact, an agreement of this nature " Conventions in 
the event of the transportation of troops of the royal Italian army through the im- 
perial and royal Austro-Hungarian territory, concluded on the basis of the memo- 
randum drawn up in Berlin in January, 1888, by the military plenipotentiaries of the 
three allied great powers" was signed toward the beginning of February by Emil 
Ritter von Guttenberg, and Giovanni Goiran. 

Political significance lay in the fact that Austria-Hungary insisted on the inclu- 
sion, at the end of the memorandum drawn up in Berlin, of the reservation: "The 
Austro-Hungarian government reserves the right to remain neutral and not to per- 
mit the transportation of troops in question to take place, in case the war should be 
confined to Germany and Italy on one side, and France on the other." Count Launay, 
the Italian ambassador in Berlin, objected to this clause. At his request Sz6chenyi 
telegraphed to Kalnoky (January 22, 1888) that Launay urgently requested the addi- 
tion of the following supplement to Austria-Hungary's reservation: "II est entendu 
que par cette r6serve 1' Autriche-Hongrie n'entend deroger en rich aux accords stipules 
en 1882 et renouveles en 1887." Kalnoky replied (telegram to Szech6nyi, January 
23, 1888) that Launay was to be assured that memorandum was a wholly "infor- 
mal" document, which in no case could encroach upon treaty provisions; Kdlnoky 
moreover had no objection to the adoption of the following supplement: "II est en- 
tendu que par cette reserve PAutriche-Hongrie n'entend deroger en rien a ses en- 
gagements avec 1'Italie." This was the wording given to the supplement in the 
memorandum of January 28, 1888. 

In the period between October, 1887, and April, 1888, deliberations also took 
place concerning the cooperation of Italian with Austro-Hungarian troops; this, 
however, finally came to nothing. The idea had originated with Crispi, and Kal- 
noky supported the project. In a letter to Baron Bruck dated December 28, 1887, 
Kalnoky refers to this : " At the time of the treaty negotiations with Count Robilant, 
the latter proposed to us a military cooperation with the Italian army. An article in 
the treaty to this end was at first contemplated; later, however, when we limited the 
scope of the treaty obligations, this was dropped again." Kalnoky went on to em- 
phasize the great advantage accruing to the monarchy from support by Italian 
troops. The only question was whether Italy was reliable and how much she would 


sented them and pointed to the example set by Germany, that al- 
though Germany and Italy might have to defend their frontiers 
against a common adversary, this was not the case with Austria- 
Hungary and Italy. He stated with perfect frankness that there 
was as little reason for hoping that Austria-Hungary, if threatened 
by war with Russia, would send strong contingents of troops to a 
Franco-Italian war as that Italy would help Austria-Hungary 
against Russia if she were obliged to defend herself by land and on 
sea against the French. 174 However, since he had promised fur- 
ther consideration of the matter in case concrete propositions were 
made by Italy, Count Nigra transmitted to him at the begin- 
ning of August, 1889, the draft of a military convention be- 
tween Austria-Hungary and Italy. 175 Even now Kalnoky did not 

demand. "I have no reason," wrote Kalnoky, "to cast doubt on Italy's trustwor- 
thiness as an ally, but I also have no proof that she would remain unreservedly faith- 
ful under all circumstances. If Italian troops were to fight side by side with those of 
the Dual Monarchy, and in this manner their interests were to be bound all the more 
closely to the common cause, this would furnish us with one more substantial guar- 
anty, and thus a lasting feeling of friendship might arise between the two neighbor- 
ing states through this brotherhood of arms; while, on the other hand, it would be a 
matter of concern if the Italian army were to stand intact and eager for war at a mo- 
ment when our troops and reserves might be well nigh exhausted by a hard conflict." 
All this made it advisable to make sure of Italy's cooperation. He pointed out, how- 
ever, that there were many reasons for caution; "Modesty and unselfishness," he 
wrote, "are qualities with which Italy cannot be reproached. For this rjeason we 
must make up our minds that the price which Italy will ask for her aid may give rise 
to many disagreeable arguments even to the possible breaking off of the negotia- 
tions." Kalnoky therefore felt at the time that he could only recommend general 
discussion. In February, after the conclusion of the military conference in Berlin, he 
went further. Bruck was commanded (instruction of February 4, 1888) to get infor- 
mation regarding the number of troops that Italy could spare Kalnoky had in 
mind two army corps, which might be employed against Russia and the price she 
intended to ask for her assistance. The negotiations came to nothing, however, since 
the danger of war with Russia no longer appeared so threatening. Hansen's re- 
marks (op. tit., pp. 94 ff.) regarding the conclusion of military agreements are there- 
fore incorrect. 

174 Report by Kdlnoky of a conversation with Count Nigra, Vienna, July 28, 

176 Count Nigra to Kalnoky, Vienna, August 7, 1889 (original). The enclosure 
reads: Convention maritime : 

i 6re hypothese: Determiner une action concerted de PItalie et de PAutriche- 
Hongrie dans la M6diterranee. 

2 6me hypothese: L'Autriche-Hongrieselimiterait a assurer leseauxde PAdriatique 


decline to enter into further negotiations, though he was firmly 
resolved not to agree to Crispi's projects; he wished to keep mat- 
ters dragging on until the Italian's excessive apprehension should 
be dissipated. 

The relations of the allies were thus steadily improving toward 
the end of the eighties. Differences kept recurring, indeed, be- 
tween Italy and Austria-Hungary, but they were superficially less 
evident, or were smoothed over by Bismarck's mediatory activi- 
ties whenever they threatened to become critical. It is therefore 
intelligible that the dismissal of the Imperial Chancellor in March, 
1890, should have caused misgivings to arise in Rome and Vienna 
lest the Triple Alliance come to grief through the loss of one of its 
creators. The events of the next few months, however, proved 
that any fears of this nature were groundless. General Caprivi, 
Bismarck's successor, immediately professed himself a loyal sup- 
porter of the policy of the Triple Alliance, and Kalnoky and Crispi 
gave assurances to the same effect. 176 Kalnoky's speech in the 
Austro-Hungarian Delegations, the address made by Crispi to the 
representatives of the Dual Monarchy and of Germany in Rome, 
as well as the declarations of William II and Francis Joseph I to 
Launay, were all of the same tenor; they emphasized the signifi- 
cance and the value of the Triple Alliance, and expressed the de- 
termination to sustain it. 177 But in all these utterances nothing 

contre Pennemi pour le cas oft les forces na vales italiennes seraient engagees en tota- 
Iit6 dans la M6diterrane"e. 

Convention militaire: 

i 6re hypothese: Determiner le rdle des deux armees dans le cas oft la guerre 
serait limitee, au moins pour quelque temps, a 1'Italie. 

2 6me hypothese: Determiner le r61e des forces alli6es pour le cas oft la guerre eda- 
terait en meme temps en Orient et en Occident. 

Further negotiations concerning the naval convention took place in the following 
years, particularly 1891 . (Acts in State Archives.) They finally led, on December 5, 
1900, to the conclusion of a convention according to which certain zones of operation 
were designated for the fleets of Austria-Hungary and of Italy. Only within these 
zones were they to advance against the enemy. This convention was replaced by 
another (June 23, 1913), providing for joint action in case of war: printed in 
Vol. I, pp. 282-305. 

176 Documents in the State Archives. Cf. Palamenghi-Crispi, Questioni interna- 
zionali, pp. 3 ff. 

177 The strained relations between Italy and Austria-Hungary in the summer of 
1890, resulting from the Slavophile policy of Count Taaffe, were only ephemeral. At 


was said about a prolongation of the treaty, which was to expire 
on May 30, 1892. 

According to Crispi, the matter was mentioned for the first time 
on the occasion of his meeting with Caprivi at Milan, in Novem- 
ber, 1890. England's approach to the Triple Alliance, brought 
about by the treaty of July i, 1890, between England and Ger- 
many, unquestionably made it easier for Crispi to bring up the 
idea of its renewal. After his return to Rome he gave the Austro- 
Hungarian ambassador, Baron Bruck, a detailed account of his 
conversations with the Imperial Chancellor, dwelling on the fact 
that he had emphasized at Milan Italy's deep interest in the pro- 
longation of the Triple Alliance. "No Italian statesman," he had 
said to Caprivi, "could think or feel otherwise; every one of us 
will strive to stand by the Triple Alliance, and, as a logical con- 
clusion, to plan for the renewal of the existing treaties. France 
has reverted to her old policy and is ceaselessly working to under- 
mine the monarchical form of government and the monarchical 
spirit, especially among her Latin neighbors. Thus is the revolu- 
tion striving to spread out and strike its first roots in Spain, 178 
Portugal, and Italy, in the hope that it can transfer its activities 
in like manner to the Germanic and Slavic peoples. Here in Italy 
this subversive effort has of late grown stronger every year; leav- 
ing other political considerations out of the question, it has in it- 
self become sufficiently serious to impress on the Italian statesmen 
the ever increasing necessity of maintaining the most intimate re- 
lations of alliance with the Central Powers, and of seeking in this 

that time, it is true, Crispi expressed the doubt whether the exasperation of public 
opinion in Italy by Count TaafiVs attitude would permit of the renewal of the 
Triple Alliance in 1892; at the same time, however, he declared that such a renewal 
was to Italy's interests: "Italy," he wrote to Nigra, "must be sure of her frontiers. 
Since unfortunately she can no longer count on the friendship of France, she must 
cling to Austria-Hungary at any price, in order to prevent her from concluding an 
alliance with France and the Pope which would bring with it incalculable conse- 
quences. Austria-Hungary, moreover, forms a barricade protecting Italy against 
dangerous foes [i. e., the Slavs]." 

178 At that time Crispi suggested the support of the monarchical principle in 
Spam and Portugal. Cf. Questioni intefmzionali, p. 9. During the course of the 
next few months the powers of the Triple Alliance entered into negotiations at 
Madrid regarding the matter. Documents in the State Archives. 


a guaranty of the royal house of Italy, which alone can keep the 
nation great and united." 

Crispi also informed Caprivi that for this reason he was anxious 
to renew the existing treaties before the time of their expiration 
all the more so because certain " little additions or little altera- 
tions would seem to be desirable." The discussion of these, he said, 
might be begun at once. As one of these "little alterations" he 
proposed the consolidation of the three treaties concluded in 1887 
into one. " By so doing, " said Crispi to Bruck, " we should attain 
greater security and a more uniform cooperation; the territories of 
the various parties would be better safeguarded against any at- 
tack, and, above all, conditions of greater intimacy would be 
brought about. These Italy needs but they would likewise be 
in harmony with Austria-Hungary's interests. 179 The more uni- 
form are the agreements," added Crispi, "the better it will be; for 
not only will every misunderstanding be thus automatically elim- 
inated, but each one of the three states would be following the 
same lines of policy. This is not exactly the case at present; little 
difficulties keep arising which, at critical moments, might assume 
great proportions." Crispi believed that General von Caprivi had 
fully appreciated these observations of his, and had appeared to 
be favorably disposed toward them. 

The next step was to get Kalnoky's assent. 180 The Austro- 
Hungarian statesman knew immediately what Crispi sought to 
obtain by his proposals. Germany was to assume obligations for 
the whole nexus of Near Eastern questions; Austria-Hungary for 
the Italian sphere of interests in North Africa. It seemed improb- 
able to him that Caprivi had not seen through the Italian plans, or 
had lightly given them his approval. 181 According to the first in- 
formation sent to Kalnoky by Caprivi regarding his conversations 
with Crispi, these questions had not even been mentioned in 
Milan. 182 When Kalnoky again inquired how matters stood, Ca- 

179 Bruck to Kalnoky, November 18, 1890. 
18 Ibid. 

181 Kalnoky to Szech6nyi, November 27, 1890. Summary and copy for Emperor 
Francis Joseph, with the Emperor's marginal note: "Very good and clear." 

182 Sze"che~nyi to Kalnoky, November 19, 1890 (original). In Crispi's Diary 
(Palamenghi-Crispi, pp. 8 foil.) the text is in harmony with Crispi's statement to 


privi declared most explicitly that " Crispi has not uttered a sylla- 
ble regarding the renewal of the existing treaty of Alliance before 
its expiration." 183 The discussion, he said, had been limited to 
German-Italian relations. 184 In regard to these Crispi had doubt- 
less spoken of changes desired by him, but had made no definite 
demands. 'Not the remotest allusion had been made by him' to 
the treaty between Austria-Hungary and Italy, or ' to the ques- 
tion of giving this treaty a wording identical with that existing be- 
tween Italy and Germany.' From further remarks of the Imperial 
Chancellor, however, Szechenyi became convinced that although 
Caprivi had no idea of expecting the Austrian government to fol- 
low Germany's lead and assume extensive obligations in North 
Africa in behalf of Italian interests, he would nevertheless be dis- 
pleased if Kalnoky should take exception on principle to Crispi's 
desire to combine the three treaties in one. 185 

Bruck: "Ricordai che il 30 maggio 1892 cioe da qui a 18 mese scade il trattato di 
alleanza delle tre monarchic. Soggiunsi . . . Necessario rivedere . . . se vi ha 
altro da aggiungere." The suspension-points are inserted by Palamenghi, who doubt- 
less left out certain passages for reasons of secrecy. 

183 Caprivi went on to say: "The latter (the German-Italian treaty) was dis- 
cussed only so far as Signer Crispi expressed the wish to have it renewed in due sea- 
son. Herr von Caprivi thereupon hastened to express a similar wish on the part of 
the German government; he was much pleased, however, that the Italian premier 
had made no mention of expediting the renewal. He (Caprivi) had feared this and 
was prepared to reply with a decisive 'No.' He felt really relieved that he was not 
obliged to do so." 

184 Crispi asserted after his fall hi July, 1891, that he had also spoken with Ca- 
privi about the necessity of securing for Italy an "adjustment of frontiers," which 
would also have been attainable if the matter had been properly approached: " Chie- 
dere per compenso almeno una modificazione delle frontiere; ravremmo potuto ot- 
tenere sapendo agire, a Vienna se Paspettavano e Berlino avrebbe pesato sopra 
Vienna." Cf. Frakn6i, p. 50, text and note. The latter assertion is certainly in- 
correct. It is doubtful, however, whether Crispi really discussed this question seri- 
ously with Caprivi. In the face of Caprivi's communications to Szechenyi, this can 
hardly be believed. 

186 Sze'che'nyi to Kalnoky, November 30, 1890 (original). The reading is as fol- 
lows: "Crispi has evidently believed that he can most safely approach us with his 
projects if he does so indirectly, by invoking a community of ideas with the German 
Imperial Chancellor. In so doing his over-fertile imagination has again led him too 
far. He appears, moreover, to have made his calculations without taking account of 
Caprivi's love of the truth and his accurate memory." Bruck, however, declared 
(Bruck to Kalnoky, December 16, 1890) : "I believe that Crispi was really sincere in 
this matter, and was attempting no trickery. . . . Crispi still believes that the Ger- 


Kalnoky's need of learning the views of his German colleague 
grew all the greater when Count Nigra shortly after read him a 
letter in which Crispi "sets forth in great detail, it is true, but 
with no real definiteness whatever his ideas and wishes, the ap- 
proval of which by Germany he believes he has already obtained 
in Milan." 186 In replying to Nigra, Kalnoky pointed out how 
hard it would be for Italy to assume new obligations. He ac- 
knowledged the necessity for the Triple Alliance and the desirabil- 
ity of renewing it; he said, however, that if Crispi designated the 
considerable differences existing between the Austro-Italian and 
the German-Italian separate treaties of 1887 as "little variations," 
and believed that he could easily eliminate them, he need only 
make the attempt. He would soon realize as Robilant had 
realized in 1887 that the "differences in the geographical situa- 
tions and the direct political interests of each one of the three 
powers must also entail real differences in their respective claims 
and obligations." These could hardly be smoothed out so easily 
and unceremoniously. " Or is Italy in a position," asked Kalnoky, 
"to give us such assistance against Russia as Germany has prom- 
ised us, in return for further obligations which we might assume 
in the West or in the Mediterranean?" So far, he pursued, Italy 
has promised in the treaty to observe only benevolent neutrality 
in an Austro-Russian war, and Crispi must be aware that if a 
great European conflagration were to break out his country would 
be obliged to send her whole army westward. "Even Germany 
has always refused up to the present to meddle in questions of the 
Orient and the Balkans; yet she would be forced to do so if the 
article in the Austro-Italian treaty relating to these matters were 
equally binding on all parties. Austria-Hungary, for her part, has 
neither reasons nor interests which would lead her to fly to arms 
for Tripoli or Morocco." Kalnoky drew from these premises the 
conclusion that the existing treaties between the Central Powers 
and Italy rested "on an entirely just basis," and that in them the 
capacity of each party found the fullest possible expression. He 

man Imperial Chancellor has given full approval to his proposals, possibly going on 
the assumption that silence gives consent." 

186 Cf. the letter from Crispi to Nigra, December 4, 1890, in Palamenghi-Crispi, 
Question* internazionali, pp. 12!. 


could not see what purpose would be served by making changes. 
"That which is good is not made better by disturbing it unneces- 

In spite of all this, however, Kalnoky respected Caprivi's wish 
and did not decline to enter into further negotiations with Crispi; 
he asked instead for "precise, practicable proposals." At the same 
time, referring to the demands made by Crispi at Milan for a com- 
mercial policy which would end in a tariff league of the three 
powers, 187 he declared that Austria-Hungary, as well as Germany, 
was interested in reaching an understanding with Italy in commer- 
cial and economic fields, but that the conclusion of the pending 
negotiations between the Austro-Hungarian and German dele- 
gates must take precedence over any other agreement of a com- 
mercial nature, and that neither Austria-Hungary nor Germany 
would enter into any commercial treaty directed against France. 188 

187 In his above mentioned letter to Nigra of December 4 (cf . Question* interna- 
zionali, p. 12), Crispi gives information regarding this point. As Bruck reported in 
his second note of November 18, 1890, Crispi had made the proposal to Count Ca- 
privi to combat the French 'blockade system' by similar steps "which would par- 
alyze this measure, for otherwise the commercial and industrial interests of these 
states will be hard hit." Crispi had also emphasized the political side, "since a com- 
mon interest in commercial and industrial questions would bind the respective coun- 
tries closer together." He had pointed to the fact that "the first steps toward an 
understanding "between Berlin and Vienna "had already been taken," and ex- 
pressed the wish that Italy should not be excluded. Caprivi had expressed his readi- 
ness to enter into negotiations with Italy also after the conclusion of the German- 
Austrian negotiations. (Szech6nyi to Kalnoky, November 19, 1890.) Crispi states 
for his part (Palamenghi-Crispi, Questioniinternazionali, pp. 10 and 12 f.) that he 
had proposed to Caprivi that France's threat to apply the autonomous tariff should 
be answered by a counter-threat. A customs union (lega doganale) of the powers of 
the Triple Alliance could not easily be managed, but a system of preferential tariffs 
was feasible. There were also political reasons for Caprivi's promise to give this 
matter consideration. He believed that customs quarrels between the allies might 
decrease the popularity of the alliance in all three countries, but that a new com- 
mercial treaty would heighten it. Cf . Otto Hammann, Der neue Kurs, p. 18; H. 
Oncken, Das alte und das neue Mitteleuropa, pp. 62 f . 

188 Kalnoky to Bruck, December 13, 1890. Draft. Cf. Questioni internazionali, 
p. 14. No discussion of questions of commercial policy will be attempted here. It 
goes without saying that these were of significance as regards the attitude of the 
various governments in matters of foreign policy. At the time that Kalnoky ex- 
pressed himself in the manner stated above, negotiations were being opened in 
Vienna which led on December 6, 1891, to the conclusion of the German- Austrian 
commercial treaty. Cf. Die Handelspolitik des Deutschen Reichs wm Frankfurter 
Frieden bis zur Gegenwart (Berlin, 1899), pp. 155 ff. 


Kalnoky informed the Foreign Office at Berlin of his conversa- 
tions with Nigra, 189 stating at the same time that he had no ob- 
jection to an anticipatory renewal of the Triple Alliance, in case 
this could be accomplished without changes. In Berlin, however^ 
there appeared to be little inclination to take immediate steps in 
this direction. Caprivi said that he had no idea of tying his hands 
thirteen months before the expiration of the treaty. He also 
pointed out that the separate treaty between Germany and Italy 
was far more complicated than that between Austria-Hungary 
and Italy. " In the course of the summer of 1889," he said, " Crispi 
alarmed us more than once over Tripoli; and it is by no means im- 
possible that before the treaty in question expires we may witness 
the development of events which will result in such a disturbance 
of affairs in Africa that it may eventually be to our own interest to 
cause changes to be made in our treaty relations." 19 The results 
of this opposition of the German government to a hasty settle- 
ment with Italy immediately became manifest. The negotiations 
began to drag, and the whole month of January, 1891, went by 
without another step having been taken. 

At this time there occurred an event which caused a change in 
the policy of the cabinet of Berlin. Crispi, the faithful supporter 
of the Triple Alliance in Italy, fell a victim to the miscarriage of 
his colonial policy, and Marquis Rudini, whose Francophile tend- 
encies were as well known in Berlin as in Vienna, took his place. 
On assuming office, indeed, he declared that there would be no 
change of foreign policy 191 ; but his actions in the first few weeks 
showed that a change had already taken place. Italy's relations 
with France became noticeably better; the influence of the French 
ambassador in Rome increased. Vienna and Berlin were notified 
from well informed sources that negotiations were under way be- 
tween Paris and Rome which were intended to conciliate the two 
governments and break up the Triple Alliance. In April, 1891, 
Baron Bruck, the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Rome, learned 
from trustworthy informants that a representative of the Roth- 

189 Kalnoky to Sze'che'nyi, December 30, 1890. 

190 Sze'che'nyi to Kdlnoky, January 3, 1891. Original. 

191 Rudini to Kalnoky, February n, 1891. Original. Cf. Chiala, pp. 532 ff. 


schilds had held out great promises of a financial nature in case 
Italy were to remain neutral in a Franco-German war, or "ob- 
serve a 'hands-off' policy in the event of the reconquest of Alsace 
and Lorraine." 192 These disquieting tidings were in contradiction 
to the official declarations of Rudini, who repeatedly gave assur- 
ances of his loyalty to the Triple Alliance; but Kalnoky and Ca- 
privi both lacked faith in the trustworthiness of his protestations. 
The latter particularly considered it most important under the 
circumstances to bind the unreliable ally to the Central Powers by 
still another tie. 

This desire grew month by month more urgent. Reports from 
Paris and St. Petersburg showed that the alliance with Russia 
which had long been desired and asked for by the French states- 
men was on the verge of consummation. The Tsar, offended by 
Germany's failure to renew the ' reinsurance treaty ' concluded for 
three years in 1887, worried by reports of far-reaching agreements 
between the British and German governments, and enraged by 
William II's friendly policy toward the Poles, overcame his dis- 
taste for the republican form of government in the West and 
joined the increasingly powerful party which for a long time had 
favored alliance with France and which saw Russia's salvation in 
a war with Germany. 193 The German government, realizing the 
danger which threatened it, bent all its efforts toward the imme- 
diate renewal of the Triple Alliance, for which it was now ready to 
pay with sacrifices. Continuous pressure was straightway brought 
upon the cabinet of Vienna, which, regarding the situation with 
more composure, had so far refused to consider the assumption of 

192 Bruck to Kalnoky, telegram of April 27, 1891, and despatch of May 5. Illu- 
minating observations in this matter are to be found in a despatch of Count Hoyos, 
the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Paris, dated May 21, 1891. Count Hoyos 
stated that it could not be determined whether Rothschild was acting in agreement 
with the French government, or whether he merely wished to know, before starting 
financial negotiations in Italy, if he could do so without violating any "patriotic 
duty." Eckardt, however, states in the volume Berlin, Wien, Rom, published 
anonymously by him (pp. 130 f.), that the French government replied to Italy's at- 
tempt to contract a loan in Paris by the statement that it would be time enough to 
think of money matters when the political situation had been settled i. e., when 
Italy had either renounced the Triple Alliance or revealed its contents in Paris. 

193 Cf. Andre" Tardieu, La France et ses alliances, sd ed., pp. 12 ff. 


fresh obligations. When, toward the end of March, Rudini pro- 
posed the resumption of negotiations, 194 Kalnoky instructed 
Bruck to let the Italians know that since a more extensive support 
of their Mediterranean policy could only be expected of Austria- 
Hungary in return for corresponding obligations which Italy 
would not be willing to assume, he would recommend the renewal 
of the treaty of 1887 without any alterations. His arguments, 
which he also brought forward in numerous interviews with Count 
Nigra, appeared to make some impression upon Rudini. 

Toward the beginning of April the Italian minister announced 
his readiness to proceed with the renewal of the existing treaties 
as quickly as possible, 195 and stated at the same time that he real- 
ized "that no change in the present relations [with Austria- 
Hungary] seems possible, since Italy is not in a position to offer a 
counter-service in return for any possible service which might be 
done for her." 196 He hoped, indeed, that Austria-Hungary would 
make common cause with Italy in Mediterranean questions; but 
he understood that these could not be precisely defined. As a com- 
pensation, so to speak, for the abandonment of this demand, Ru- 
dini requested the good offices of the Austrian government in 
London for the purpose of prompting England, who had pledged 
herself to Italy only as regards the eastern basin of the Mediter- 
ranean, to assume similar obligations for the western portion of 
this sea as well. This desire was intelligible, since all the Italian 
coasts were exposed to attack hi the event of a war with France. 197 
A short while later Count Nigra repeated this request, which was 
the more favorably received in Vienna and Berlin because Eng- 
land's rapprochement with the Triple Alliance was held by Kal- 
noky and Caprivi to be desirable from their own point of view. 198 

194 Bruck to Kalnoky, March 25, 1891. Original. 

196 Telegram from Bruck to Kalnoky, April 5, 1891. 

198 Bruck to Kalnoky, April 7, 1891. Original. m Ibid. 

198 Kalnoky to Bruck, April 13, 1891 (copy). Detailed information will be given 
in subsequent portions of this work concerning the negotiations carried on to this 
end with England. Cf . Eckardt, op. cit., p. 131, who states that the British premier 
had made the assurance of English protection of the Italian coasts, as requested of 
him, dependent on the previous renewal of the Triple Alliance. After receiving this 
information Rudini exclaimed, "Now the renewal of the treaty for the sake of Eng- 
land has become inevitable!" Cf. H. Oncken, op. tit., p. 60. 


At the same time negotiations between Nigra and Kalnoky for the 
renewal of the Triple Alliance were set on foot once more. The 
questions of the unification of the treaties of 1887 and of possible 
changes in substance were discussed in detail. Kalnoky had hopes 
of a satisfactory outcome. On April 9, he wrote his friend Sze- 
chenyi that Nigra appeared to have convinced the Italia^ premier 
that "the existing stipulations would have to be accepted as a 
basis, and very likely also as the probable final result at least so 
far as the treaty with Austria-Hungary was concerned. " Kalnoky 
hoped that his advice would be taken and that "with the excep- 
tion of a few details," a simple prolongation would be found suf- 
ficient. 199 This was also the prevailing view in Berlin at that 
moment. Caprivi answered Rudini's request for a rapid conclusion 
of the negotiations by saying that he was ready immediately to 
renew the treaty of alliance with Italy, "but only as a prolonga- 
tion of the existing treaty, without the alteration of a single 
word." 20 He remarked to the Austro-Hungarian ambassador at 
the time that even so Germany's obligations, as defined by the 
treaty, were so much greater than Italy's counter-obligations that 
for military reasons alone he would not renew the treaty; general 
political considerations, however, had determined him to take the 
step. He also expressed the hope that his proposals would prevail 
in Rome. 201 

Scarcely a week later the alliance of France with Russia caused 
a complete reversal of his opinions. He was now inclined to take 
into consideration not only Rudini's wish for the formal unifica- 
tion of the treaties of 1887, but also the extensive demands of the 
Italian government as to matters of substance. We have but 
scanty information regarding the negotiations carried on from 
this point to the conclusion of the new treaty on May 6, 1891. 
They took place, with Kalnoky's approval, at Berlin. 202 Since 
Austria-Hungary had but little real concern in them, the German 
government was no longer under the necessity of keeping Kalnoky 

199 Kdlnoky to Sze"ch6nyi, April 9, 1891. Draft. 

200 Telegram from Sze'che'nyi to Kalnoky, April n, 1891. 

201 Sze"ch6nyi to Kalnoky, April 12, 1891. Original. 

202 Kilnoky to Sze'che'nyi, April 9, 1891. Draft. 


informed as to the progress of affairs. On April 20, Nigra pre- 
sented at Vienna a copy of the treaty draft, over which his 
colleague at Berlin had to negotiate with the chief German 
statesmen. Kalnoky soon convinced himself that it entailed no 
new obligations for Austria-Hungary. 

The project of the Italian government provided for the union of 
the three treaties of 1887 in one. 203 Kalnoky and Caprivi, who had 
at first refused to sanction this change of form, now raised no 
objection. Kalnoky immediately gave his approval; and the 
German Foreign Office, in marked contrast to its earlier attitude, 
declared that it was the more ready to give its assent "because the 
unity and connection of the various existing treaties has already 
been recognized in the final protocol of the treaty of 1887." 204 

Rudini's draft provided for fourteen articles and one protocol. 
Articles I to V corresponded verbatim to the first five articles of 
the treaty of 1882. Article VI, regarding the question of the 
Orient, was of the same tenor as paragraph i of the first article of 
the Austro-Italian separate treaty of i887. 205 For Germany, who, 
through the elimination of Article I of the German-Italian sepa- 
rate treaty of 1887, figured as a cosignatory to the abovemen- 
tioned Article VI, this meant an increased burden; for she was 
now pledged to exert her influence for the maintenance of the 
status quo throughout the entire Turkish Orient, whereas her 
previous obligations were limited to the "cotes et lies ottomanes 
de la mer Adriatique et dans la mer Egee." 206 Article VII (ex- 

203 First draft of Marquis di Rudini. Kalnoky made the following notation on 
this: "Received from the Italian ambassador as preliminary communication; condi- 
tional upon the formal communication from Berlin, where the negotiations are tak- 
ing place." April 20, 1891. 

204 Marschall to Reuss, April 25, 1891. Communicated by Reuss to Kalnoky, 
April 27, 1891. Copy. Cf. the text of the final protocol, Vol. I, p. 114. 

206 See Vol. I, p. 109. 

206 In the treaties of 1887 the stipulations regarding the Orient were not identical 
for Austria-Hungary and for Germany. The obligations assumed by the latter to 
prevent a territorial change which might be harmful to the two signatory powers 
was limited "sur les c6tes et iles ottomanes dans la mer Adriatique et dans la mer 
Egee." As this limitation was no longer to the liking of the Italians, Rudini united 
the Austro-Hungarian and German declarations, which were now worded alike, in 
Article VI. Article VII related to Egypt; Article VIII contained the second part of 
Article II of the separate treaty of 1887 between Italy and Austria-Hungary. Since 


elusion of the Egyptian question, and liberty of action in regard 
thereto) contained an unimportant innovation providing for 
Austria-Hungary's accession to the provisions contained in Article 
II of the German-Italian separate treaty of 1887. Article VIII, 
governing the attitude of Austria-Hungary and Italy in the event 
of a change in the Balkan situation, corresponded verbatim to the 
second paragraph of Article I of the Austro-Italian separate treaty 
of i887, 207 an d was still limited to these two powers. 

Article IX and portions of Article X, on the other hand, were 
wholly new. They had no bearing on Austria-Hungary, but they 
entailed for Germany a considerable extension of those obliga- 
tions in North Africa which she had pledged to Italy through the 
separate treaty of 1887. Not only was Tunis coupled with Tripo- 
litania and Morocco as the North African territories whose status 
quo Germany must maintain, but mention was also made in Ru- 
dini's draft of the " status quo de fait et de droit" instead of the 
" status quo territorial." In case of need, Germany was also 
bound to support Italy in any action which she might feel called 
upon to undertake, in the event of a disturbance of the status quo 
in North Africa, for the purpose of restoring the balance and ob- 
taining just compensations. 208 Article XI, which referred to a 

Germany, however, succeeded in bringing about the reinstatement of the clause 
"surles cotes . . . mer Egee," it became necessary to abandon the joint article re- 
garding these questions of the Orient. Article VI now contained the provisions re- 
garding the Orient, in so far as they concerned Germany; the opening words "Les 
hautes parties contractantes" had therefore to be changed to "L'Allemagne et 
Tltalie"; Article VII contained the provisions referring to Austria-Hungary, and 
Article VIII, those referring to Egypt. 

207 Vol. I, p. 109. 

208 In Rudini's draft Article IX is worded as follows: "L'ltalie et 1'Allemagne 
s'engagent a s'employer pour le maintien du status quo de fait et de droit l dans les 
regions nord-africaines sur la Mgditerranee, a savoir la Cyrenaique, la Tripolitaine, 
la Tunisie, et le Maroc. 2 Les repre"sentants des deux puissances dans ces regions 
auront pour instruction de se tenir dans la plus etroite intimite de communications et 
d'assistance mutuelles. Si malheureusement 3 le maintien du status quo devenait 
impossible, 1'Allemagne s'engage 4 a appuyer 1'Italie en toute action sous la forme 
d'occupation ou autre prise de garantie, que cette derniere devrait entreprendre 5 en 
vue d'un intert d'equilibre et de legitime compensation. 6 " After further negotia- 
tions the following changes in this draft were accepted in compliance with Ger- 
man demands. l "territorial" instead of "de fait et de droit." 2 "et le Maroc" was 
eliminated. 3 "en suite d'un mur examen de la situation rAllemagne et 1'Italie re- 


possible acquisition of territory by Italy at the cost of France, cor- 
responded literally to Article IV of the German-Italian separate 
treaty of 1887, and did not involve Austria-Hungary. The re- 
maining articles contained stipulations regarding the secrecy, the 
duration, and the ratification of the treaty. The duration was 
fixed by Rudini at six years. 

The draft of a protocol, the incorporation of which in the new 
treaty was insisted on by Rudini, came as a real innovation. The 
first paragraph of this protocol dealt with the commercial relations 
of the three powers. Its contents, the result of lengthy negotia- 
tions on the part of the Italian government with representatives 
of the Central Powers, were, as Marschall, then German Sec- 
retary of State, justly remarked, "rather of a decorative nature, 
considering the restrictions with which it began and ended." 209 
Above and beyond the treatment accorded to the most favored 
nation, the three powers under reserve of the consent of the re- 
spective parliaments promised one another every facility and 
every special advantage in economic matters (finances, customs, 
railroads) which would be compatible with their own interests. 210 
Of greater value to Italy was the second paragraph of the protocol, 
which had to do with England's assistance hi the North African 
territories bordering on the Central and Western Mediterranean. 
This had already been promised, in principle at least, for the terri- 
tory of the Turkish Empire in the Orient. The three powers, in 
accordance with the promises received by Italy from the govern- 
ments of Berlin and Vienna during the negotiations, also pledged 
themselves to attempt, at a suitable moment and so far as cir- 

connaissaient Tune et Tautre que" was inserted after "malheureusement." 4 "apres 
un accord formal et prdalable" was inserted after "s'engage." 6 "dans ces mfimes 
r6gions" was inserted after "entreprendre." 6 At the conclusion, "II est entendu 
que pour pareille 6 ventualit6 les deux puissances chercheraient a se mettre Sgalement 
d 'accord avec PAngleterre" was added. 

209 Marschall to Reuss, April 25, 1891; communicated by Reuss to Kalnoky, 
April 27. Copy. 

210 At the time when the treaty of the Triple Alliance was renewed, the negotia- 
tions regarding the commercial treaties between Germany and Austria-Hungary had 
come to a favorable conclusion. The negotiations between the Central Powers and 
Italy were then begun in the course of the summer of 1891. On December 6 the com- 
mercial treaties between Germany and Austria-Hungary were signed, together with 
the treaties between these two states and Italy. 


cumstances permitted, to induce England to subscribe to the pro- 
visions of Articles IX and X of the new treaty. 211 

Count Kalnoky had little fault to find either with the sub- 
stance of the protocol or with the whole draft of the treaty. He 
had Reuss make the proposal in Berlin that in case the treaty were 
not denounced one year before the date of expiration, it was to be 
considered as renewed for another term of years. 212 The decision 
of all other questions he left to the German government, for on it 
alone would fall the burden of the concessions exacted by Rudini. 
It is not within the province of this work to describe the negotia- 
tions carried on between Germany and Italy until the end of 
April; the documents at our disposal would not be adequate for 
this. 213 A comparison of Rudini's draft with the definitive text of 
the treaty, however, shows that the German statesmen succeeded 
in securing substantial alterations, which considerably limited the 
scope of the obligations assumed by Germany. These changes, 
which were effected in the important Articles VI and IX of the 
Italian draft, provided in the former for the reinstatement of the 
text of the treaty of iSSy, 214 and in the latter for the insertion of 
several clauses. 215 

211 The wording of the draft is identical with that of the final treaty. See Vol. I, 
pp. 160-163. Details will be given in subsequent parts of this work concerning the 
negotiations carried on to this end with England. Cf. the chapter "La triplice al- 
leanza e 1'Inghil terra" in Palamenghi-Crispi, Questioni internazionali, pp. 256 ff. 
The rapprochement between England and the powers of the Triple Alliance was 
very disquieting to their opponents. Barthlemy-Saint-Hilaire wrote at that time 
"The Triple Alliance tomorrow will be the Quadruple Alliance. England, the only 
nation with which we could possibly form an alliance without demeaning ourselves, 
goes where her interests lead her that is, to a union with the three powers which 
are determined to block Russia's desires for world conquest." Cf. Singer, op. cit. t p. 

212 Marschall to Reuss, April 25, 1891. Communicated by Reuss to Kalnoky, 
April 27, 1891. Copy. 

213 Marschall's often mentioned letter of April 25, 1891, contains information re- 
garding the attitude of the German government toward Rudini's draft. We have a 
private letter from Prince Reuss to Kalnoky (May 3) in which he suggests certain 
stylistic alterations in the two drafts communicated the day before; likewise a draft 
of Kdlnoky's answer of May 4, in which he assents to Prince Reuss's proposals and 
expresses similar wishes on his own part. 

214 Cf. p. 98, note 206. 
218 Cf. p. 99, note 208. 


In accordance with Kalnoky 's suggestion, 216 it was also provided 
that the treaty, the duration of which was fixed at six years, 
should be prolonged for another term of six years in case it were 
not denounced one year before the date of expiration. By the end 
of April the treaty text had been drawn up in Berlin; on May 2 
Prince Reuss delivered the new draft in Vienna. 217 Kalnoky ac- 
cepted the unimportant alterations suggested by Reuss, 218 and 
recommended that the treaty be signed as soon as possible. He 
was pleased with the result which had been attained. 219 " As far as 
the form is concerned," he wrote Szechenyi, "respect has been 
paid to the wishes of the Italians that the stipulations of the 
-earlier separate treaties should be gathered together in one instru- 
ment, thus giving a more pregnant expression to the character 
of the Triple Alliance. As for the actual substance, it corre- 
sponds throughout, so far as Austria-Hungary is concerned, to the 
treaty of 1887. From the German standpoint as well, no impor- 
tant changes, such as the Italians had in view, have been made. 
The protocol annexed to the treaty is an innovation introduced at 
Italy's suggestion; it contains, however, merely declarations 
which are partly matters of course, partly of a theoretical na- 
ture." On May 6 the signing of the treaty took place at Berlin, 220 
and on the iyth of the same month the ratifications were ex- 
changed. 221 At Italy's wish, and by consent of the Central 
Powers, it was decided to follow the procedure of 1887 and inform 
the public that the Triple Alliance had been renewed. The con- 
tents of the treaty were to be kept secret, as previously. 222 

216 Marschall to Reuss, April 25, 1891; imparted to Kalnoky by Reuss on April 
27. Copy. 

217 Reuss to Kalnoky, May 3, 1891. Original. 

218 Kalnoky to Reuss, May 4, 1891. Draft. 

219 Kalnoky to SzSchenyi, May 4, 1891. Draft. 

220 Szechenyi to Kalnoky, May 7, 1891. Original. 

221 Cf. Vol. I, p. 159, note. In the document of ratification of the Italian treaty, 
Kalnoky also intended to include the protocol, but refrained from doing so at the re- 
quest of the German government, which declared that protocols had not been in- 
cluded in the earlier documents of ratification, and that it was best " to abide by the 
old procedure in all matters concerning which new agreements had not been 
reached." Reuss to Kalnoky, May 13, 1891. Kalnoky to Szechenyi, May 13, 1891. 

222 Kalnoky to Bruck, June 22, 1891. 



THE treaty of the Triple Alliance of 1891 was concluded for a 
period of six years; it expired in May, 1897; but, according to the 
stipulations of Article XIV, the duration of the treaty was to be 
prolonged for another six years in case no one of the allied govern- 
ments made use of its right of denunciation one year before the 
date of expiration. In 1895 the question of the renewal was first 
mentioned by Italy. Crispi was then Premier, and Blanc Min- 
ister of Foreign Affairs; the former had been the most ardent pro- 
moter of the Triple Alliance, the latter an untiring defender of the 
idea of a union with the Central Powers in the years 1880 to 
i882. 223 No doubt could be entertained as to the genuineness of 
their intentions to maintain Italy's relations with Germany and 
Austria-Hungary as defined by the treaty. In 1892, indeed, Crispi 
had bitterly reproached Rudini for not having taken precautions 
at the time of the conclusion of the new treaty of the Triple Alli- 
ance which would have prevented Italy from getting the worst of 
it in the commercial treaties ^ concluded later with the Central 
Powers, toward the end of 1891. He also complained that Italy 
had been the chief sufferer under the Triple Alliance. 225 At that 
time, however, he was the leader of the Opposition. As head of the 

223 The Italian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, during the years 1891-93, had been 
profuse in assurances that they would stay faithful to the Triple Alliance. On the 
accession to office of Brin (May, 1892) he sent the following message to Vienna: 
"After exhaustive examination of the secret agreements between the friendly 
powers, Minister Brin takes this occasion to give us the assurance that these treaties 
and the political course determined by them will find in him as true and sincere an 
executor as in his predecessor, whose attitude in this matter he is definitely deter- 
mined to follow." Kalnoky to Bruck, May 23, 1892. 

224 The commercial treaties between Italy and the Central Powers were signed on 
December 6, 1891. Cf. the text of the Austro-Italian treaty in the Reichsgesetzblatt 
of 1892, part vi, no. 17, pp. in ff.; also found in Ludwig Bittner's Chronologisches 
Verzeichnis der osterreichischen Staatsvertrage, iii, p. 433, no. 4686. 

226 Cf. Questioni internazionali, p. 97; Singer, p. 108. 



Italian ministry after 1893, he professed to be a friend of the Cen- 
tral Powers, though his friendship was somewhat more tempered 
than during his earlier period of office. Through Blanc he sharply 
repelled the charges brought by the Radicals, who blamed the 
Triple Alliance for the decay of trade relations between Italy and 
France, 226 and expressed the conviction in his speeches in the 
Chamber, as well as in his conferences with the chief statesmen of 
the allies, that Italy's interests would best be served by unswerv- 
ing adherence to the Triple Alliance. 

This realization did not prevent Crispi from making frequent 
reference to the sacrifices exacted from Italy by this fidelity. To- 
ward the beginning of 1895, Crispi, as well as Blanc, declared that 
France had for years let it be openly known that Italy could have 
Abyssinia, Tripoli, and Heaven knows what else, if only she would 
desert the Triple Alliance. Considerations of honor had pre- 
vented Italy from listening to a word of this; and yet now (Crispi 
went on to say) she was being attacked in Abyssinia, and was 
forced to stand by, powerless, and watch France proceeding 
brazenly and unhindered toward her chief goal, the establishment 
of a North African state. Blanc went so far as to forecast the over- 
throw of the Italian monarchy, the victory of the Radical and Re- 
publican parties, and, consequently, the dissolution of the Triple 
Alliance, 227 in case the Central Powers did not support Italy's 
plans for the extension of her domain in the Mediterranean coun- 
tries. These utterances explain the fact that as soon as the 
renewal of the treaty was mentioned, the Italian statesmen 
attempted to obtain the binding assent of Germany and Austria- 
Hungary to Italy's acquisition of Tripoli. The Central Powers, 
however, firmly declined this request, refusing also to take up the 
question of the prolongation of the alliance. 228 As a result, no fur- 
ther negotiations were entered into during 1895. 

226 Singer, p. 113. m Bruck to Kdlnoky, February 16 and 19, 1895. 

228 Kdlnoky to Szogye"ny, March 23, 1895. Telegram. Count Lanza, in Berlin, 
was informed by Marschall to the same effect. As the latter told Szogye"ny, the Ital- 
ian was given to understand "that Baron Blanc's tendency to construe the Triple 
Alliance as a sort of 'association for profit', which was bound to pledge to one of the 
parties the unrestricted aid of the others for such acquisitions as it pleased, is abso- 
lutely rejected here." Szogyeny to Kdlnoky, March 30, 1895. 


A good opportunity for the initiation of negotiations first pre- 
sented itself toward the beginning of the year 1896. This was 
the time when the tension between England and Germany had 
become so great that the outbreak of open hostilities appeared 
possible. Italy, supported by England, was then fighting in 
Abyssinia; but after her first few initial successes she realized that 
her hopes were illusory. In December, 1895, ^ e vanguard of the 
Italian army suffered a severe defeat; and the future might have 
worse in store. Then came reports of German ' courtesies ' prof- 
fered to the Russian court, of efforts toward a rapprochement on 
the part of the cabinets of Vienna and St. Petersburg which could 
only serve to show the passive attitude observed by the Austro- 
Hungarian government toward the Russian menace of Constanti- 
nople. All this caused fear in Italy lest the old League of the 
Three Emperors should come to life once more and Italy should 
find herself isolated. It was even believed that an agreement 
might be reached between Austria-Hungary and Russia for the 
partition of the Balkans, and anxious thought was given to the 
contingency that Italy might come away empty-handed Jfrom 
the division of the spoils. Prompt action was requisite to avert 
such a possibility. 

For this purpose, Italy intended to renew the Triple Alliance, 
but, at the same time, to pledge the Central Powers more deeply 
than before to her interests. Count Nigra, most experienced of 
Italian diplomats, was called to Rome at the beginning of Janu- 
ary, 1896, to give his advice. Nigra, who knew the aims of the 
courts of Vienna and Berlin, took pains to dispel the misgivings of 
the Italian ministers; apparently with success, as far as Crispi was 
concerned, for the latter declared his readiness to renew the Triple 
Alliance as it stood. Demands were made in other important 
circles, however, that Austria-Hungary should assume the same 
obligations with regard to the western basin of the Mediterranean 
as those binding Germany in the same region. Germany was also 
to take the same pledges for the eastern basin of the Mediterra- 
nean which Austria-Hungary had already assumed. Nigra advised 
against this, characterizing these wishes as unattainable; he well 
knew the strong disinclination of the Central Powers to accede to 


such demands. For the purpose of calming the excited state of 
mind of the leading Italian statesmen, however, he recommended 
the German and Austro-Hungarian representatives in Rome to 
observe a certain spirit of accommodation, and advised them, 
when the treaty was renewed, to give a more precise wording to 
the already existing obligation of the allies "to proceed to an 
agreement concerning pending questions of a general political 
nature before a single power adopts an attitude towards them, 
or seizes the initiative." 229 

Baron Pasetti, the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Rome, 
with whom Count Nigra repeatedly discussed the matter, gave his 
heartiest assent to the idea. For the sake of satisfying Italy's am- 
bition, which had received a terrible blow through the defeats in 
Abyssinia, he recommended that she should not be robbed of the 
hope of finding in Tripoli a substitute for East Africa. " I have al- 
ready had to listen to the Italians lamenting in every key that 
they have been the 'victims' of the Triple Alliance," wrote Pa- 
setti, "and this conviction is not to be eradicated by any amount 
of argument particularly because Italy has been treated so 
roughly by France since she joined the Triple Alliance. The pros- 
pect of gaining Tripoli and of securing at least the moral and dip- 
lomatic support of her allies to this end would once more make 
Italy a willing member of the alliance, and even if no help is to be 
expected of her in the moment of need, it is nevertheless to our in- 
terest to keep her among us. Desire to have a part in every thing; 
eagerness for new conquests, for a great success; fear of an unex- 
pected coup which might procure this success for some one else 
and not for them all these beset the Italian statesmen. Every 
confidential conversation comes back to this theme, even if the 
subject of discussion is the agreement with England." 23 

Pasetti had appraised the situation correctly. In February, 
1896, Crispi wrote to the Italian ambassador in Berlin: "A treaty 

229 Despatch from Pasetti, January 25, 1896. 

230 Ibid. On February 8, 1896, Pasetti wrote to Goluchowski that the German 
ambassador, Billow, "had never seen such satisfaction in the countenance of 
Nigra, who as a rule stays in Rome only against his will, and then only for a short 
time. His whole manner showed his pride in a well administered lesson on European 


of alliance, even if concluded only for the purpose of averting war, 
loses a great part of its value if it is not calculated to safeguard the 
interests of the allies in times of peace. . . . The Italian people 
has not yet lost its illusions regarding the alliance with Germany, 
but if matters go on in this manner, who can make sure that it 
will not have lost them even by tomorrow? In case circumstances 
should compel the Italian government to fulfil obligations laid 
upon it by an alliance with Germany which had become unpopu- 
lar, it would remain faithful to its international duties; but it 
would be in a delicate position towards its people and its allies." 231 
Both in Vienna and in Berlin, the attitude was again unfavor- 
able; but Crispi and Blanc, influenced by the difficult situation in 
which Italy found herself as the result of further disasters in Abys- 
sinia, urged no further action for the time being. Shortly after 
this Crispi fell and Rudini took his place. This meant an aggrava- 
tion of the situation, for Rudini, who had long advocated a closer 
connection with France, immediately declared that he would hold 
to the Triple Alliance, but not to the aggressive attitude adopted 
by Crispi toward France. He would make efforts, he said, to es- 
tablish better relations with that neighboring state, which, in eco- 
nomic and financial matters, had the power to do Italy so much 
good and so much harm; Italy could be on as good terms with 
France as Germany or Austria-Hungary, without doing violence 
to the " defensive nature" of the Triple Alliance. 232 A short while 
later he summoned Count Nigra to Rome for further consulta- 
tions. Nigra once more succeeded in influencing the premier fa- 
vorably to the Triple Alliance. Rudini now declared his readiness 
for a tacit renewal of the existing treaty, but he expressed at the 
same time a desire that the protocol annexed to the first treaty of 
the Triple Alliance of 1882, in which it was expressly specified 
that the alliance was not directed against England, should be em- 
bodied in the new treaty. This protocol had not been included in 
the treaties of 1887 and 1891, since Austria-Hungary and Italy 
had concluded the " accord a trois" with England in iSSy, 233 and 

231 Frdknoi, pp. 54 f . 

232 Pasetti to Goluchowski, March 16, 1896. 

238 The agreement of December, 1887, is referred to. See Vol. I, pp. 124-133. 


the treaty of 1891 had expressly left room for the union of England 
with the powers of the Triple Alliance. Rudini based his request 
on the fact that the efforts to secure England's assent to a renewal 
of the "accord a trois" had come to nothing, and that, in view of 
the present tenseness of her relations with Germany, her accession 
to the Triple Alliance was not to be thought of. He therefore felt 
it desirable to fall back on this protocol, since Italy, in the event of 
an alliance of France with England, could not undertake to wage 
war on these two powers. 234 In spite of all Pasetti's efforts to wean 
him from the idea, Rudini transmitted notes verbales containing 
this project to Berlin and Vienna. 235 

In Berlin his proposal was brusquely rejected. In an instruction 
given on March 31, 1896, to Bernhard von Billow, the German 
ambassador in Rome, and transmitted to Count Agenor Golu- 
chowski, who had been guiding the foreign affairs of Austria-Hun- 
gary since May, 1895, the German government declared that the 
protocol had been added in 1882 at the express wish of Mancini, 
who feared that Article III of the treaty of May 20, 1882, might 
possibly be regarded as "operative against England as well"; 
that Count Kalnoky, whose views were approved by Prince Bis- 
marck, had long stood out against any such declaration, for he 
feared indiscretions on the part of the English which would have 
caused the world to believe that the treaty of the Triple Alliance 
was directed particularly against France and would have ag- 
gravated the relations of the allies with that Power; but that 
Kalnoky had finally yielded to the insistence of the Italians, and 
Bismarck had followed his lead. In the archives, however, there 
existed a declaration made by Prince Bismarck on May 22, 1882, 
to the effect that German diplomacy had had no part in the draw- 

234 Pasetti to Goluchowski, March 27, 1896. Telegram and despatch of the same 

236 Note verbale from Italy, March, 1896. It reads as follows: "Dans I'eVentua- 
lite de la prorogation tacite du traite" d'alliance, conclu le 6 mai entre 1'Italie, 1'Alle- 
magne, et rAutriche-Hongrie, le gouvernement royal d'ltalie crolt devoir rappeler 
aux deux H.P.C. qu'il reste entendu que les declarations ministerielles e"change"es en 
mai 1882 concernant TAngleterre, dont copie est ci-jointe, demeurent en vigueur 
pour la m6me dure"e du traite susmentionne". Le gouvernement du roi attacherait du 
prix a recevoir du gouvernement I. et R. une assurance analogue." 


ing up of the documents relating to the treaty with Italy. At that 
time 1882 (the instruction continued) it would not have 
been out of the question for England to take action with other 
powers, such as France or Russia, against one of the states of the 
Triple Alliance; now, however, and for some time to come, an 
Anglo-Russian or an Anglo-French joint action lay beyond the 
bounds of possibility. 

"Since a duel between Germany and England which, for 
reasons of common sense, we consider to be as remote as an Anglo- 
French combination would, according to Article III, establish 
no casusfoederis, the Italian supplementary proposal has no occa- 
sion; it satisfies no existing need. If we were to make concessions 
to the Italian cabinet which are unquestionably superfluous, we 
should at least have to be convinced that these superfluous de- 
mands did not have an aspect objectionable to us. The exact op- 
posite is true, however. Three great political divisions exist today 
in Europe: the Triple Alliance, the Franco-Russian group, and 
England. The defensive nature of the Triple Alliance caused it to 
take into consideration such aggression as might occur under cer- 
tain prescribed circumstances rather than the individual aggress- 
ors. It is this general character of its provisions which gives the 
Triple Alliance its objective quality. A power which feels it has 
been offended or thwarted by the Triple Alliance admits at the 
same time that its aggressive projects have been frustrated by it. 
The Triple Alliance assumes an entirely different character, how- 
ever, if a provision be added to the effect that England can under 
no circumstances be the object of the casus foederis. From that 
time onward the Triple Alliance, from the point of view of its sig- 
natories, would be directed against the Franco-Russian group 
alone, and the tension foreseen hi 1882 by Count Kalnoky and 
Prince Bismarck as the result of the supplementary provision de- 
termining our relations with France, would now also extend to the 
relations of the Triple Alliance and especially of Germany 
with Russia. We have very recently shown that whenever a legit- 
imate Italian interest is involved we take no heed of any possible 
displeasure which might be caused in St. Petersburg or in Paris by 
our support of Italy. We are determined, however, not to do un- 


necessary violence to our relations with Russia if no Italian inter- 
est is at stake. Apart from the fact that the wording of Article III 
excludes any possibility of calling on Italy for help in the event of 
war between Germany and England, the agreements of May 6, 
1891, give Italy still further guaranties in this direction; mention 
may be made of Article VIII, whereby Italy is granted full liberty 
as regards the Egyptian question, and the protocol, which ex- 
pressly gives her permission to seek a rapprochement with 
England." 236 

The German ambassador in Rome expressed the views of his 
government with the greatest vigor. At first, to all appearances, 
he was successful. Rudini declared that he was willing to forego 
his demand; 237 but shortly after on April 27 he sent to 
Vienna and Berlin the draft of a note which he proposed formally 
to submit in the event that the Central Powers gave their assent. 
This note stated that in case England and France were to join 
forces with hostile intent against one of Italy's allies, Italy would 
not regard the casus foederis as established, since in view of her 
geographical position and the inadequacy of her righting forces, 
she would be in no position simultaneously to take the field against 
both of these adversaries. 238 The Italian government emphasized 

236 Instruction of the German government to Billow, March 31, 1896. Copy 
transmitted to Goluchowski. On April i Szogyeny telegraphed from Berlin that 
Secretary of State Marschall had begged Lanza not to ask for this superfluous 
"ministerial declaration." Marschall had said to him "that the German govern- 
ment would in any case have to refuse the supplementary declaration in question, 
since it was entirely unnecessary as far as Italy's attitude toward England was con- 
cerned, and might give occasion for indiscretions on the part of Italy which, for no 
purpose whatever, might cause the relations of the powers of .the Triple Alliance 
with Russia and with France to suffer." 

237 SzogySny to Goluchowski, April 4, 1896 (telegram). As Goluchowski tele- 
graphed on April 5 to Szogyeny, he had taken no action when Nigra handed him the 
same note. He was delighted, he said, to hear that Italy had abandoned her de- 
mand. "A formal renewal of the declaration of 1882," he said, "would have seemed 
objectionable to me at the present moment; it is an open question, however, whether 
it is not really continuing in force whether, in other words, it was not also tacitly 
prolonged simultaneously with the main treaty, of which it is a constituent part." 
This opinion was not shared by Marschall. Szogyeny to Kalnoky, April 12, 1896. 

238 Szogyeny reported on April 12 that, according to communications made by 
Biilow to the German government, Rudini and the minister of foreign affairs, the 
Duke of Sermoneta, had declared, on the occasion of their renunciation of the re- 


the fact in Berlin that it expected no answer from Germany 
that it would be satisfied with an official acknowledgment of its 
communication on the part of the German government. 239 This 
declaration left no room for doubt in Berlin that, in the event of 
France and England becoming the adversaries of Germany, Italy 
wished to be relieved of the obligations which, according to the 
treaty, she would be obliged to assume if Germany were involved 
in war on two fronts. The German government, however, de- 
clared that it was wholly unable to regard the Italian note "as a 
correct interpretation of the text of the Triple Alliance and of the 
declarations made to the German plenipotentiaries," and that it 
was not in a position to accept this note without protest. If the 
Italian view were correct, the alliance would evidently be aimed 
against Russia, and its inherently defensive character directed 
as it was against possible attacks rather than against individual 
adversaries would thus be lost. 240 The rejection of the Italian 

newal of the declaration of 1882, that "they would frankly admit that, on account of 
her geographical situation, and especially of her extended coast line on the Mediter- 
ranean, Italy could not undertake to enter into war simultaneously with these two 
adversaries, with their formidable maritime strength. However, since such an even- 
tuality appears most improbable, the Italian government is glad to conform with the 
wishes of the German cabinet and to withdraw its proposal regarding the supple- 
mentary declaration in question." 

239 Szogy6ny to Goluchowski, May 23, 1896, and Goluchowski's instruction to 
Rome of the same date. 

240 The German government transmitted to the cabinet of Vienna the draft of the 
reply it had determined to make to Count Lanza, the Italian ambassador, in case he 
should formally state the wishes of his government. It reads as follows: " Pro jet du 
r6ponse 29. April 1896 (copy): Le gouvernement de S. M. 1'empereur d'Allemagne 
donne acte a M r Pambassadeur d'ltalie d'une communication faite par S. Exc. & la 
date du 27 de ce mois, et d'ou il resulte que le gouvernement italien ne croit pas etre 
en mesure d'agir centre une coalition anglo-francaise, si cette coalition venait a se 
realiser. La reserve que le gouvernement italien vient de formuler aux termes de 
cette declaration n'atteint pas les interets allemands, puisque ceux-ci se trouveraient 
le cas echeant sauvegardes par le nouveau groupement des puissances europeennes 
qui serait la consequence immediate de la coalition susdite. Le gouvernement alle- 
mand ne saurait cependant reconnaitre a cette reserve la qualite d'interpretation 
soit du texte des traites intervenus entre 1'Italie, 1'Allemagne, et I'Autriche-Hongrie, 
soit du langage tenu par la diplomatic allemande; car la pointe d'hostilit6 directe et 
prgdominante centre la Russie qu'une pareille interpretation donnerait a la triple 
alliance modifierait absolument le caractere essentiellement impersonnel de ce pacte 
d6fensif qui vise des aggressions eventuelles plut6t que des adversaires individuels." 


request by the German government was sharp, and hardly left 
room for hope that the cabinet of Vienna would meet it. The at- 
tempt, nevertheless, was made, for at the time it was generally 
supposed in Rome that Austria-Hungary, who had no idea of be- 
coming involved in war with the two great powers of Western 
Europe, and who then contemplated Russia only as her adver- 
sary, would have no objection to such a limitation to Italy's obli- 
gations, and might even be inclined to support her wishes in 

In their first supposition the Italians did not go astray. Count 
Goluchowski declared that he saw no reason for not tacitly ac- 
cepting such a note from Italy, "since, in fine, it was only an act of 
loyalty for the Italian cabinet to state frankly that Italy would be 
in no position to appear as the adversary of France and England, 
if these two powers were to join forces against the Triple Alli- 
ance." However, when he had learned from conversations with 
Count Eulenburg, the German ambassador in Vienna, and from 
the despatches of the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Berlin, 
Szogyeny, that the German government had taken a firm stand 
against any such concession, he likewise declined to consider the 
Italian demands. 241 Under these circumstances Rudini's only 
course was to refrain from submitting his note. 

In the meanwhile, however, May, 1896, the term stipulated in 
the treaty, had gone by without use having been made by Italy of 
her right of denunciation. The treaty of the Triple Alliance of 
1891 was therefore tacitly prolonged for another term of six years. 
Rudini's displeasure at the rejection of his proposals by the Ger- 
man government, and his wish to give expression to Italy's 
friendly feelings toward England, continued nevertheless to exist. 
In a speech delivered on July i, 1896, before the Italian Chamber, 
he asserted that it was both necessary and profitable for Italy to 
adhere to the Triple Alliance, which efficaciously safeguarded her 
chief interests; he added, however, "that friendship with England 
formed the indispensable complement to the Triple Alliance. In 
the interests of Italy and her allies, the Italian government in- 
tended to improve the agreements of the Triple Alliance; the pos- 

*" Goluchowski to Pasetti, May 23, 1896. 


sibility of such an improvement had been expressly stipulated in 
the treaty itself." 242 Rudini's utterance caused strong disapproval 
in Berlin. Through its official organ, the government declared 
that there must have been some mistake; nothing was known in 
Berlin of any intention to alter the recently prolonged treaty; 243 
Rudini, seeing that he must retreat, let it be made known that he 
had only intended to suggest the possibility of improving the 
Triple Alliance in case an opportunity to do so should be recog- 
nized. 244 To the Austro-Hungarian ambassador, he said that he 
had been reproached by the Opposition for having twice let slip an 
opportunity for improving the treaty stipulations, and had thus 
allowed himself to be led into a theoretical assertion of the per- 
fectibility of this, as of every other, treaty. At the same time he 
most emphatically denied having entertained any idea of a change 
at that particular moment. 245 

242 Cf. Schultess, Geschichtskalender, 1896, p. 241. 

243 Szogy6ny to Goluchowski, July 2, 1896. Cf. Singer, p. 121. 

244 Ibid. 

245 Telegram from Pasetti from Rome, July 4, 1896. Shortly after a great sensa- 
tion was caused by a newspaper article by Crispi who was a member of the Op- 
position in which he declared that Rudini had concluded the new treaty of the 
Triple Alliance for a long period and brought about a guaranty of Italy's possessions. 
Crispi's article also occasioned negotiations between the powers of the Triple Alli- 
ance. Documents in the State Archives. 


JUNE 28, 1902 

THE tacit renewal of the Triple Alliance in May, 1896, had 
wrought no change in Italy's relations with her allies. The states- 
men continued to dwell on the community of their interests; sov- 
ereigns and ministers, at the occasion of their meetings and in 
their speeches, extolled the Triple Alliance as a gage of peace and 
vowed fidelity to it. Many variations of expression were given to 
the thought first shaped by Prince Bismarck: "We keep mm ing 
together again, because we can't get along without one another. 
An alliance of such powers as the Triple Alliance can always say of 
itself, Nemo me impune lacessit, and will always be in a position to 
defend itself." 246 This recognition of the value of the Triple Alli- 
ance to the general as well as the particular interests of each of its 
members was felt especially by the Italian statesmen, who knew 
that for the present they would be unable to attain their ambitious 
ends without the support of the Central Powers. For this reason 
even those among them, who in their hearts longed most desper- 
ately for a dissolution of this mariage de convenance, clung fast to 
the Triple Alliance, and did everything in their power either to 
smooth over the ever-arising difficulties with Austria-Hungary 
which threatened to disrupt the alliance, or, if this were not possi- 
ble, at least to hit upon some modus vivendi. 

This was especially true as regards the Balkan problem. In 
Italy there was no hope perhaps even no desire for a per- 
manent solution of this question, so vital to both powers; but it 
was thought best to put off the conflict until there was some hope 
of terminating it successfully. For this reason Rudini and Vis- 
conti-Venosta agreed with Goluchowski at Monza (November, 
1897) to advocate in future the maintenance of the status quo 
in the Balkans, and, if this should prove impracticable, to work 

246 Singer, p. 115. 


for the autonomous development of the Balkan states. 247 The 
Albanian question was now becoming more and more an object of 
interest to public opinion in Italy, and occupying an increasingly 
important place in the thoughts and feelings of the nation; the 
contest for 'the other shore' of the Adriatic was more and more 
insistently urged by the representatives of all classes, and the 
leading statesmen of Austria-Hungary and Italy were constrained 
to renew and strengthen the oral agreements of Monza, with 
special regard to Albania, through an exchange of notes which 
took place in December, 1900, and in February, 1901. 248 

Other negotiations between Austria-Hungary and Italy were 
going on simultaneously with these: negotiations touching the 
interests of all three allied powers, and dealing primarily with the 
military preparations desirable in view of a possible conflict. A 
naval convention, concluded at Berlin, on December 5, 1900, pro- 
vided for the cooperation of the naval forces of the allies in case 
they should become involved in war with France and Russia. 24 ' 
Notwithstanding this, the efforts of governmental circles in Italy 
to maintain correct relations with the Central Powers met with 
opposition from a great part of the Italian nation, and fresh re- 
cruits were continually joining that body of statesmen who advo- 
cated a closer understanding with France. 250 The governments of 
Vienna and Berlin learned from the despatches of their ambassa- 
dors in Rome how cleverly this attitude was being fostered, openly 
and secretly, by the French representatives, particularly Camille 
Barrere, French ambassador to Italy from 1897, and how their 
influence was increasing. 

The Cretan affair, in 1897, in which Italy ranged herself with 
the adversaries of her allies, had already shown that Italy was 

247 Notes by Goluchowski concerning his negotiations with Rudini and Visconti- 
Venosta at Monza, November, 1897. 

248 In the introduction to the treaties between Austria-Hungary and Italy a de- 
tailed discussion will be given of these notes of December 20, 1900, and February 9, 
1901, respectively. See Vol. I, pp. 196-201, for the texts. 

249 Naval agreement of December 5, 1900; not to be found in the State Archives. 
Cf. p. 88, note 175. 

260 The despatches of the Belgian government recently published by the German 
government (Zur europaischen Politik 1897-1914, i, pp. 41 f ., 90 ff ., 102 ff., etc.) con- 
tain, among other things, some interesting information on this matter. 


going her own way. 251 In November, 1898, Italy concluded a 
commercial treaty with France, thus ending a tariff and financial 
war which had lasted more than a decade, with results most dis- 
astrous to her trade and finances. In the spring of 1899, France 
and England had given assurances regarding Tripoli which dis- 
claimed in favor of Italy any interests on their part. Both these 
developments paved the way to a more friendly understanding 
between France and Italy. 252 In 1900 these two powers reached an 
agreement regarding their spheres of interest in the Sudan; in 1901 
the assurances given two years previously by the Western Powers 
with regard to Tripolitania were renewed and extended. All this 
increased Italy's coyness in her negotiations with the Central 
Powers, as was shown during the discussions held between the al- 
lied governments, beginning with the fall of 1900, regarding the 
renewal and alteration of the existing commercial treaties. The 
demands of the Italians, especially as concerned the continuance 
of the favorable tariff on wines, 253 were so energetically supported 
by the Italian press that Count Nigra was compelled to remind his 
countrymen of the great dependence of Italy on the Triple Alli- 
ance. This attitude of the more prudent elements, however, could 
not stem the increasingly powerful current of anti- Austrian feel- 
ing. Then, too, when Victor Emmanuel III mounted the throne 
at the end of July, 1900, after the assassination of King Humbert, 
who had cherished ties of ultimate friendship with the German 
rulers, Frederick III and William II, he showed a certain coolness 
toward his allies. In March, 1901, Zanardelli, Italian Premier 
since the beginning of 1901, and an ancient foe of Austria-Hun- 
gary, expressed his strong sympathies for France, and declared 

261 Cf. Albert Billot, La France et Vltalie (1905), ii, p. 395. 

262 See Appendix C. 

263 The provisions regarding the wine tariff, which are to be found in the commer- 
cial treaty of 1891, are given in the Reichsgesetzblatt, I. c., p. 205, Nr. 2, Tarif A, and 
p. 215, Nr. 77, Tarif B. The latter reads as follows: "If, while the treaty is in force, 
a tariff of 5 francs 77 centimes or less should be fixed for the import of wines into 
Italy, this tariff shall also be applied to all wines coming from Austria-Hungary; 
Austria-Hungary pledges herself, in this case, to give to Italian wines ipso facto the 
special favors specified in N. 5 IH. . . . The tariff shall in this case be 3 florins 20 
kreuzer per hundred kilogrammes, and shall be applied to all wines imported by cask 
into Austria-Hungary by land or by sea." 


significantly that in future Italy would assume obligations only 
after mature reflection. The ministry, he said, would have to 
occupy itself with commercial as well as political treaties. The 
former expired before the latter; and Italy 's foreign policy would 
be guided by the outcome of the negotiations regarding commer- 
cial matters. 264 

In June, 1901, strong attacks were made in the Italian Chamber 
against Austria-Hungary, particularly against her advance in 
Albania. Some clamored for the dissolution of the Triple Alli- 
ance; others insisted that its prolongation should be made condi- 
tional on the conclusion of a special agreement regarding Albania 
and Tripoli. 255 Prinetti, Minister of Foreign Affairs, rejected 
these demands, on the ground that l the Triple Alliance had given 
a firm foundation to Italian policy, and had effectually served to 
maintain the peace of Europe/ It was the same Prinetti, however, 
who, toward the end of the year, answered Guicciardini's inter- 
pellation 266 as to the relations between Italy and France by de- 
claring that 'the negotiations with the French government had 
resulted in a complete unanimity of views on both sides regarding 
their spheres of interest.' 267 These utterances of so prominent 
a statesman, and the echo aroused by them in France, caused a 
disagreeable sensation in Vienna and Berlin, and gave rise to 
exhaustive discussions of the Triple Alliance between the two 

The Under Secretary of State of the German Foreign Office, von 
Miihlberg, pointed out at this tune that the negotiations between 
Paris and Rome with regard to the question of Tripoli were not 
"affairs of yesterday." There could be no objection in Berlin to 
good Franco-Italian relations; but it was extraordinary "what 
remarkably favorable soil was found on the banks of the Tiber by 
the liberalistic French solicitations, which had been growing more 
numerous of late." Italy's greed for territory, he declared, was 
the cause of this. Her efforts for expansion could only find sup- 

254 Cf. Singer, p. 136. 2 Cf. Singer, pp. 137 f. 

266 Francesco Guicciardini was considered a special authority on the Albanian 
question, regarding which he had published important studies. Cf. Chlumecky, pp. 
83 f., and others. 

267 Cf. Singer, p. 138. 


port in a rapprochement with France; and in this fact lay peril for 
the Triple Alliance and for the peace of Europe. When the Triple 
Alliance was prolonged, therefore, "not an iota" should be 
changed. 258 The misgivings of the German government were 
shared in Vienna; they grew greater when in 1902 Barrere, 
the French ambassador in Rome, spoke of the Franco-Italian 
agreement regarding interests in the Mediterranean as perfect, 259 
while Delcasse offered the Italians other people's territory on the 
Adriatic for the purpose of diverting them from the Mediter- 
ranean. 260 

But the statesmen of Germany and Austria-Hungary gave no 
outward evidence of their apprehension. On January 8, 1902, 
Billow delivered a speech in the Reichstag in which he answered 
reports of the dissolution of the Triple Alliance with the following 

258 Szogyeny to Goluchowski, December 22, 1901. At the same time Pasetti 
reported from Rome (December 24, 1901) that he had heard from well informed 
sources that France's efforts were directed toward " getting Italy to renew the Triple 
Alliance, with the added stipulation that the casus foederis should not be established 
if France were to attack the German Empire single-handed. Italy would then be 
pledged to furnish military aid only if Germany were attacked by both Russia and 
France." The Belgian minister in Berlin reported shortly after (March 20, 1902) 
to Brussels: "chacun sait que 1'ambassadeur de France a Rome a fait tous ses efforts 
pour empecher le renouvellement de la Triple Alliance ou au moins pour y faire in- 
troduire des modifications qui lui auraient ote toute valeur pratique." Zur euro- 
paischen Politik 1897 bis 1914, Unveroffentlichte Dokumente, i, p. 103. 

269 Pasetti to Goluchowski, January 14, 1902. Cf. also Singer, p. 139. 

260 Cf. Chlumecky, Osterreich-Ungarn und Italien, p. 23. Prinetti, with whom 
Pasetti discussed both these utterances, declared that he felt it worth while to repeat 
his former assertion, that Italy's alliance with Austria-Hungary and the German 
Empire, the commercial treaties with these States, and the friendly relations with 
France formed a whole, a political system, which must be maintained. This, he said, 
was also the view of Premier Zanardelli and the king. He said that he was ready to 
enter into negotiations that very day regarding the matter. The Triple Alliance (he 
continued) had no offensive aim; he had therefore been able to promise France that 
Italy would assume no obligations which might militate against the safety or the 
peace of the French. He had given France no written pledge, only an oral one. No 
guaranty for the observance of this had been demanded save that the stipulations of 
the future treaty of alliance should be imparted by him. There was, indeed, one way 
of pacifying France: the publication of the treaty. Prinetti declared that Nigra 
favored this, and that he himself was not opposed to it; but that he realized the diffi- 
culties which lay in the way of publication. The understandings regarding Tripoli 
and the Balkan peninsula, in particular, were not of a nature to be made public. 
Pasetti to Goluchowski, January 14, 1902. 


assurance: "The Triple Alliance is still enjoying the best of 
health, and I believe and hope that its case is similar to that of 
persons incorrectly reported dead, who now live all the longer for 
it." He then emphasized the fact that the Triple Alliance did not 
prevent the establishment of good relations between its members 
and other powers. The excitement over the Franco-Italian agree- 
ments was unjustified, since these agreements were not directed 
against the Triple Alliance. "In a happy marriage the husband 
must not become mad with jealousy if his wife dances an innocent 
single turn with another man. The main point is that she should 
not run away from him; and she will not run away from him if she 
is happiest with him." 261 The desire to maintain the Triple Alli- 
ance, Billow concluded, not because it was an absolute necessity, 
but because it was "an exceedingly serviceable bond of union be- 
tween states, which by virtue of their geographical position and 
their historical traditions should by rights be good neighbors," 
had determined the line of action followed by the German govern- 
ment in the pending negotiations regarding the renewal of the 

In order to meet the difficulties which might be expected to 
arise from the prospective territorial and economic demands of 
the Italians, the German cabinet announced that a renewal of the 
Triple Alliance was unnecessary, since, if no notice was given to 
the contrary, it would always be automatically prolonged for 
another period of six years. Appeal was made to a declaration to 
this effect, which Germany had made on May 7, 1899, on the 
occasion of the renewal of the treaty with Rumania, and in which, 
in default of denunciation, the automatic prolongation of the 
treaty every three years was expressly stated. 262 This interpreta- 
tion, however, was received with no enthusiasm either in Rome or 
in Vienna. It was pointed out by the Italians that no such provi- 
sion existed in the treaty of the Triple Alliance, and the responsi- 
ble statesmen of Austria-Hungary lost no time hi recognizing the 

261 Cf. Singer, p. 141. 

262 Q y } j^ p j^y According to Szogyeny's report of December 18, 1901, it 
was the German ambassador in Constantinople, Marschall von Bieberstein, who 
expressed this view on the occasion of his visit to Berlin. Szogyeny and Lanza did 
not agree with him. 


justice of the Italian demand for a formal renewal. 263 As a matter 
of fact, the negotiations were begun at once. They soon showed 
that Germany's misgivings had not been groundless. Prinetti, 
the Italian minister of foreign affairs, declared that his assent to 
the renewal of the treaty must depend on a satisfactory solution 
of the pending commercial questions. The retention of the wine- 
tariff clause in the Austro-Italian commercial treaty, as demanded 
by Italy, was the chief bone of contention. Pasetti, the Austro- 
Hungarian ambassador in Rome, pointed out in vain that it was 
imprudent "to amalgamate political and economic questions to 
such an extent as to make the solution of the one dependent on 
that of the other." In Italy the idea was artificially fostered that 
found expression in the slogan, "No commercial treaty, no alli- 
ance." Prinetti persisted in his demand. 

Soon, however, he also presented new requests of a political 
nature to which conditions in the Balkans had given rise. The in- 
surrection in Macedonia, never really subdued, had broken out 
once more. The various Christian peoples Bulgarians, Ser- 
bians, Greeks at variance among themselves, but rilled with a 
common hatred of the Turk, had risen once more against their 
oppressors, and the bloody contest was dragging on without 
reaching any decision. Since the Porte was too weak to restore 
quiet, and the oppressed peoples were too inimical one to another 
to achieve any permanent results, the Great Powers, at the re- 

263 Goluchowski to Szogyeny, January 17, 1902. Pasetti's despatch of January 
14, 1902, is accompanied by a "Memorandum regarding the Clauses of Prolongation 
of the Secret Treaties," drawn up by him. This states, inter alia, that "Since no 
notice was given to the contrary in 1897, the Triple Alliance, according to Article 
XIV of the treaty, runs from May 6, 1891, to May 17, 1903. If no notice to the con- 
trary should be given in 1903, the treaty, according to the principles laid down in 
the German note verbale of May 7, 1899, for the interpretation of the treaty clause, 
is to be regarded as automatically prolonged as a whole. Now the Italian govern- 
ment certainly accepted this interpretation with regard to its accession to the 
secret treaty between Austria-Hungary and Rumania; but there was no statement 
by it to the effect that it recognized the application of the German interpretation to 
the Triple Alliance." Pasetti therefore proposed that this principle of the automatic 
prolongation of the treaty of the Triple Alliance, in case no notice to the contrary 
was given before a stipulated time, should be established by a joint protocol, to be 
signed by the representatives of the three powers. Nothing came of this proposal, 


quest of both sides, intervened as guarantors of the treaty of 
Berlin. To Russia and Austria-Hungary, as the two great powers 
most intimately concerned, fell the leading roles; and it was this 
which filled Prinetti with apprehension. He feared that Russia 
would either intervene in behalf of the liberation of Macedonia, 
support the Slavic Balkan states in making territorial acquisi- 
tions in that region, and gain for herself the hegemony of the 
Balkans, or else come to an agreement with Austria-Hungary 
providing for separate spheres of influence in the Balkans for the 
two rival powers. The situation called for preventive measures. 
Prinetti informed Vienna that he felt it to be of the greatest im- 
portance that the German Empire should be more extensively 
pledged to the support of the status quo in the Balkan peninsula 
than she had hitherto been. The situation in that region, he said, 
gave him great concern not with regard to Albania, of course, 
for in that matter Italy and Austria-Hungary could always come 
to an understanding, since neither power sought for territorial 
acquisitions there; but ' Macedonia and the future shaping of 
affairs in that region formed a perplexing problem. If the Slavic 
element were to get the upper hand in the Balkan peninsula, 
under the guidance of Russia, or if Russia were to come into 
possession of Constantinople and the Straits, Italy would be re- 
duced to the level of a second-rate Power in the Mediterranean, 
helplessly wedged in between France and Russia. England, un- 
fortunately, was not to be counted upon. Although no fixed term 
had been set to the agreement of 1887, it had lost its value since 
the conclusion of the Anglo-French understanding of iSgg. 264 
Would England take action to prevent Constantinople from fall- 
ing into Russia's hands? ' 265 The Triple Alliance, Prinetti con- 
cluded, must therefore arrive at a more definite understanding 
and counter these Russian plans of conquest. 

The German government in answer referred Prinetti to Vienna 
as the place where discussions concerning Balkan problems must 

264 Allusion is made here to the agreement of March 21, 1899, regarding the par- 
tition of Africa. Cf. Friedjung, Das Zeitalter des Imperidismus, pp. 220 ff., and the 
literature mentioned there. 

265 Pasetti to Goluchowski, January 14 and 27, 1902. 


take place. Germany would give her approval to any decision 
of the cabinet of Vienna. 266 Prinetti now became somewhat 
more explicit. He insisted on the acceptance by Vienna of the 
provisions in Articles VI and VII of the treaty of 1891, which 
contemplated the possibility of a Slavic move against Constanti- 
nople; 267 for the sake of pleasing France, he also recommended a 
statement in the preamble of the treaty making it plain that 
' Italy had assumed no pledges which might contain a menace 
to France.' 268 It is plain enough now that Italy wished to 
strengthen the ties that bound her allies to her interests, while at 
the same time avoiding any stipulation which might work harm 
to her friendly relations with her neighbor France, strengthened 
as they were by recent agreements. 269 

In Berlin, however, no inclination whatever was shown to ac- 
cede to these far-reaching Italian demands. Some of them were 
bluntly refused, 270 while the German cabinet sought first of all to 
secure the adoption of the principle of an automatic renewal of 
the treaty every three years, unless notice to the contrary were 
given in due season. 271 Once more this view failed of acceptance. 
The Italian ministers demanded as before the renewal of the 
treaty, and insisted that consideration be given to the wishes ex- 
pressed by them, which they now proceeded clearly to define. All 
three powers were to pledge themselves, by Article V, to "oppose " 
any attempt of another great power to change the territorial 
status quo in the Orient. 272 For Germany, who heretofore had 
declared only her willingness to see to it that the territorial status 

266 Pasetti to Goluchowski, January 21, and Szogyeny to Goluchowski, January 
24, 1902. Telegrams. 

267 Pasetti to Goluchowski, January 27, 1902; first despatch. 

zca Prinetti had also approached the Germans with similar demands. Bulow 
declined them on the ground that in his latest speeches ' he had emphasized the 
purely defensive character of the alliance in such a decided way that it appeared 
superfluous to make further special mention of this fact in the text of the treaty.' 

269 Pasetti to Goluchowski, January 27, 1902; second despatch. 

270 Szogy6ny to Goluchowski, January 29, 1902. 

271 Ibid. Billow, however, expressed the opinion that the Italians would not 
assent to this. 

272 "Les trois puissances s'engagent a s'opposer a toute tentative d'une tierce 
grande puissance de modifier le statu quo territorial en Orient," etc. 


quo was maintained "on the Turkish coasts and islands of the 
Adriatic and Aegean Seas," this would have meant a considerable 
augmentation of her duties without any counter-service whatso- 
ever on the part of Italy. A similar disproportion characterized 
the desire of the Italians to give to Article VII of the treaty a 
wording which would have bound all three allies to support 
throughout the Balkan states the principle laid down by Austria- 
Hungary and Italy in 1901 for Albania, providing for the promo- 
tion of autonomous development in the event of an inevitable 
alteration of the status quo in the Balkans. The Italians, more- 
over, demanded a free hand in Tripoli, 273 and consideration of 
their wishes in the matter of commercial policy. 274 

Wedel, the German ambassador in Rome, asserted that his 
government would assume no such guaranty of the status quo in 
the Orient. 276 Shortly after this Goluchowski also declined the 
Italian demands, in so far as they implied new burdens for Aus- 
tria-Hungary. He informed Rome that he did not share Italy's 
fear of Russian aggression against Constantinople; that nothing 
of the sort was to be expected now or in the immediate future, for 
Russia was well occupied with her vast undertakings in Eastern 
Asia. "Just as it was impossible to foresee, when the Triple Alli- 
ance was first concluded, how affairs in the Orient would develop, 
so we are today confronted with uncertainty in this respect. It 
can not therefore be regarded as the task of the Triple Alliance to 
determine in advance the solution of the questions involved in the 
problem of the Orient. The treaty of the Triple Alliance, con- 

273 This demand for a free hand in Tripoli was due to the fact that Italy, in view of 
the agreements reached between her and France, felt that she had no more need of a 
guaranty from the Central Powers 'that France should not possess herself of this 
region.' As Pasetti informed Goluchowski on January 27, Prinetti had said that 
'since France had of her own accord abandoned all designs in this direction, and had 
pledged herself by specific declarations, the aforesaid guaranty could now lapse 
all the more so (Prinetti continued) because he was at that very moment negotiating 
with the British government for the purpose of obtaining from it declarations similar 
to those given by France. Lord Currie had voluntarily proposed this to Prinetti, 
who received the suggestion with pleasure. Thus Italy's interests on the North 
African coast were adequately protected.' 

274 Pasetti to Goluchowski, January 30, 1902. Telegram. 

276 Ibid. Prinetti remarked in this connection to Pasetti that he thought "that 
the proposition did not go overfar, as the term 'oppose' did not imply armed force." 


eluded for purely defensive purposes, was primarily intended as a 
mutual safeguard against disturbances of the peace of Europe, to 
the preservation of which its existence has contributed substan- 
tially. The provisions of the treaty provided for the continuance 
of the concert between the three powers in the event of occur- 
rences rendering impossible the maintenance of the status quo in 
the Orient, much as they desired its preservation. In case these 
changes should take place, they pledged themselves to the joint 
protection of their interests, to the degree in which these should be 
jeopardized." The treaty as it stood, Goluchowski concluded, 
took full account of these facts; and as the alterations proposed by 
Prinetti promised no improvement, it would be better to let them 
drop, especially as Germany could not agree to them. 

Still more energetically did Goluchowski reject Prinetti's de- 
mand for a guaranty of the future autonomous development of all 
the Balkan states a demand which touched Austro-Hungarian 
interests in a particularly sensitive spot. He declared that the in- 
terchange of ideas which had taken place in 1897 between himself 
and Visconti-Venosta "was based on the special interests which 
Austria-Hungary and Italy have to safeguard in the Adriatic, and 
which might be directly menaced by a shift of the territorial bal- 
ance of power on the Albanian coast." This basis would no longer 
exist if all the Balkan States were to be similarly included. " This 
would lead to discussions for which the necessary premises do not 
as yet exist, and which may be deferred until called for by the 
future turn of events." From these reflections he drew the con- 
clusion that it would be to the best interests of all parties con- 
cerned to renew the treaty of 1891 as it stood. He declared his 
willingness, however, to subscribe to a supplementary protocol 
giving the Italians a free hand in Tripoli on the express condi- 
tion that this should give rise to no obligation on the part of Aus- 
tria-Hungary to participate in a war against France. 276 On the 
other hand, he flatly declined to retain the wine-tariff clause 
favoring Italy. 

The Austro-Hungarian proposals, like those of Germany, which 
were fundamentally identical, fell on deaf ears in Rome. Prinetti 
276 Goluchowski to Pasetti, February 6, 1902. 


refused to continue the negotiations on this basis, 277 and at the be- 
ginning of March he sent to Vienna and Rome his draft of the 
newly- worded Articles VI and VII of the treaty of the Triple Alli- 
ance of 1 89 1. 278 This draft, which was identical with his oral de- 
mands of January, igo2, 279 was once more rejected by von Billow 
and Goluchowski. Billow pointed out that the proposed modifi- 
cations would alter the purely defensive character of the alliance, 
and that, as a matter of fact, they were unnecessary, since ample 
guaranties were offered by the existing wording. Agreements of a 
commercial nature, he declared, lay beyond the province of the 
Triple Alliance. 280 

Count Goluchowski gave extremely detailed reasons for his op- 
position to the new Italian proposals. The altered wording of 
Article VI, he said, "would bind the powers of the Triple Alliance 
to oppose (de s'opposer) any change of the status quo in the Bal- 
kans and in the islands of the neighboring seas which might be to 
the detriment of the interests of any one of those powers. Such a 
pledge would also imply that the powers of the Triple Alliance 
were resolved to use armed force in preventing any change of the 
status quo which did not pllease them." Such a decision was quite 

277 Pasetti to Goluchowski, February 12, 1902. 

278 Pasetti to Goluchowski, February 26, 1902. Telegram. 

279 Nigra presented the draft on March 3, 1902. It read as follows: "Article VI. 
Les hautes parties contractantes, n'ayant en vue que le maintien, autant que possi- 
ble, du status quo territorial en Orient, conviennent de s'opposer, le cas e"cheant, a 
toute tentative de la part d'une tierce grande puissance quelconque de modification 
territoriale dans les r6gions des Balcans ou dans les lies des mers adjacentes, et plus 
sp6cialement dans celles de ces regions et lies qui sont soumises a la domination otto- 
mane, qui porterait dommage a Tune ou & Pautre des puissances signataires du pr6- 
sent traite"." The conclusion of this article runs like that of Article VI of the treaty 
of 1891. Cf. Vol. I, p. 154. "Art. VII: L'ltalie et PAutriche-Hongrie s'engagent au 
cas oft P6tat de choses actuel dans ces regions ne pourrait etre conserve" et des change- 
ments s'imposeraient, a employer leurs efforts afin que les modifications du status 
quo se re"alisent dans le sens de Pautonomie. Les deux puissances s'engagent en 
outre en general et comme disposition mutuelle de part et d'autre, a rechercher en 
commun et toutes les fois qu'il y aurait lieu les voies et moyens les plus propres a 
concilier et a sauvegarder leurs intents r6ciproques. Si par suite des eVe"nements 
I'ltalie et PAutriche-Hongrie se voyaient dans la n6cessit6 "... From here on the 
text corresponds word for word with Article VII of the treaty of 1891. Cf. Vol. I, 
pp. 154, 156. 

280 Szogy6ny to Goluchowski, telegrams of March 5 and 8, 1902, and despatch of 
March 10. 


impossible on the part of Germany; and Austria-Hungary, too, 
could "not look with favor on a wording which perverted the 
peaceful tendency of the Triple Alliance, and which might be re- 
garded by a power outside the Alliance" (i. e., Russia) "as a 
menace aimed against herself. The Italian Minister of Foreign 
Affairs has pointed out in this connection that any action directed 
against the status quo in the Orient could, in case of necessity, be 
brought to a stop by a mobilization on our eastern frontiers. We 
can hardly be expected, however, to expose ourselves to the dan- 
ger of a war in which we could not count on the help of our allies." 

Goluchowski was also unable to assent to Prinetti's request for 
the inclusion in Article VII of new agreements, such as the ex- 
change of declarations between Austria-Hungary and Italy with 
regard to Albania. The Triple Alliance, he said, serves primarily 
to maintain the status quo in the Orient, and states only in the 
most general terms the points of view which would determine the 
attitude of the allies in case all their efforts should fail to preserve 
this status quo from change. Questions of detail could only be 
dealt with in the future; this ; moreover, was a matter to be settled 
by Austria-Hungary and Italy alone. "It would therefore be pre- 
mature to come to any conclusions as yet regarding the extent to 
which the principle of autonomy was to be applied to other por- 
tions of Turkey in Europe, besides Albania." 281 Goluchowski's 
answer plainly indicated that he did not intend to allow any 
strengthening of Italy's influence in the decision of questions in 
the Balkans. 

The Italians, nevertheless, did not give up. Count Lanza, the 
Italian ambassador in Berlin, kept urging the acceptance of his 
government's proposals. As regards the commercial question, he 
scored a success, if only a limited one. The German government 
insisted that negotiations for the renewal of the commercial treaty 
with Italy could only begin when the new customs tariff had been 
passed by the Reichstag and had acquired legal force, and that for 
reasons of internal policy it was unable to promise not to denounce 
the existing commercial treaty before the conclusion of the new 
one. Germany was ready, however, to make a confidential, but 

281 Goluchowski to Pasetti, March 5, 1902. 


binding declaration that she would do everything in her power to 
prevent the lapse of treaty relations, and that she cherished the 
greatest hopes of concluding a new commercial treaty based on 
the new customs tariff, which would be satisfactory to both 
parties. 282 

Prinetti, seeing that his other proposals, especially those relat- 
ing to the Balkans, were meeting with stiff opposition in Berlin 
and Vienna, decided to bow to the inevitable. At the middle of 
March he announced his readiness to renew the existing treaty as 
it stood; he demanded, however, that account should be taken of 
Italy's wishes in regard to Tripoli, as well as the Balkan and 
commercial questions, through an exchange of notes. 283 He now 
expressed his wishes in the following form: "The allies of Italy 
declare their disinterestedness toward any action which she may 
undertake 'at her own risk and peril 7 in Tripolitania or in Cyre- 
naica. As regards the commercial question, the three powers de- 
clare their fixed intention to conclude a new commercial treaty, 
and, until this shall take place, to maintain the validity of the 
existing treaty. Moreover, Austria-Hungary declares, with re- 
gard to the wine clause, that the treatment to be accorded in 
future to Italian wines imported into Austria-Hungary shall not 
be more unfavorable than previously." 

Pasetti immediately refused this last demand; the others he 
listened to in silence. 284 There appeared to be no inclination in 
Berlin or Vienna to accede to these somewhat tempered demands. 
The negotiations, it is true, were begun, but they led to no re- 
sult. 284 * New attempts to reach an understanding were then made 
on the occasion of a conference in Venice between Billow and 
Prinetti. This was not altogether fruitless. Prinetti was willing 
to renounce his proposed alterations in the treaty when Billow 
had convinced him of the desirability of being able to point to the 
fact that no changes had been made in it as far as Russia and 
England were concerned. Billow, for his part, cherished the 

282 Szogyeny to Goluchowski, March 10, 1902. 

283 Pasetti to Goluchowski, March 20, 1902. 

284 Pasetti to Goluchowski; telegram of March 20, and letter of March 27, 1902. 
28te Szogygny to Goluchowski, March 24, 1902 (telegram); Goluchowski to 

Pasetti, March 21, 1902. 


amazing belief that he could conciliate Prinetti by holding out 
the prospect of a written statement of his conviction that neither 
now nor in the near future would Russia lay hands on Constanti- 
nople. This was intended to allay the fears of Victor Emmanuel 
III. He also promised to embody in a separate declaration an 
interpretation of Articles IX and X of the treaty of the Triple 
Alliance which would meet Italy's wishes. 

The negotiations regarding questions of commercial policy were 
more difficult. Prinetti insisted that a lapse of the treaty must be 
avoided. He proposed that instead of terminating the existing 
agreements, they should be prolonged until the end of 1905 at the 
latest, with the provision that in case new commercial treaties 
were concluded before that date, the existing treaties would be 
regarded ipso facto as duly terminated. The firmness of Prinetti's 
conviction that political and economic interests should be put on 
a footing of equality is shown by the fact that he proposed to 
Billow that the Triple Alliance should for the present be renewed 
for three years only, lest Italy, in the event of a lapse of the com- 
mercial treaty, should find herself politically allied for a long term 
of years to states with which she was economically at variance. 285 
No agreement in this matter was reached either at Venice or in 
the further negotiations which took place hi the course of the next 
few weeks in Vienna, Rome, and Berlin. 286 On the occasion of a 
visit of Billow to Vienna, he joined with Goluchowski in urging 
once more upon Rome the speediest possible renewal of the treaty 
of the Triple Alliance as it stood, proposing at the same time the 
elimination of the protocol which, at Italy's request, had been 
annexed in 1891 to the main treaty. The first part of this proto- 
col, dealing with matters of commercial policy, contained only 
meaningless assurances; the second part had been rendered super- 
fluous through England's withdrawal from the Mediterranean 
agreements which she had entered into. 287 However, before the 
German and Austro-Hungarian ambassadors could make the 

286 Pasetti to Goluchowski, March 31, 1902. Telegram. 

286 Goluchowski to Szogy6ny, April 4, 1902; Sz6gye"ny to Goluchowski, April 4 
and 5, 1902. 

287 Goluchowski to Szogye'ny, April 12, 1902. 


requisite representations in Rome, Prinetti had instructed Nigra 
and Lanza to communicate to Vienna and Berlin the proposals 
which had been formulated by him on the basis of the negotia- 
tions in Venice. 288 They were flatly rejected by both govern- 
ments. 289 

Again it seemed as though no agreement could be hoped for; 
but once more the recognition by all parties of the necessity of 
adhering to the Triple Alliance brought the two sides together. 
Prinetti decided to forego his demands in so far as they related to 
the Balkans, and limited his wishes to compromises regarding 
Tripolitania 29 and the commercial treaty; while Billow declared 
that he was ready to meet Italy's wishes in these two matters 291 
and caused inquiries to be made in Vienna regarding the willing- 
ness of the Austrian government to take similar action. 292 At the 
same time Goluchowski received letters from Pasetti which indi- 
cated how bitterly Prinetti had taken his rebuff, and emphasized 
Victor Emmanuel Ill's great anxiety not to be left in the lurch by 
his allies in the matter of Tripoli. 293 

All these influences served to bring about a more kindly disposi- 
tion on the part of the cabinet of Vienna toward Prinetti's pro- 
posals. On April 18, 1902, Goluchowski empowered Pasetti to 
inform Rome that, although Austria-Hungary's disinterestedness 
in respect to the affairs in Tripoli was to be assumed from the 

zss Memorandum from Nigra, handed to Goluchowski on April 14, 1902; annex to 
Goluchowski's instruction to Pasetti of April 15, 1902. Pasetti delivered the official 
answer to Nigra's memorandum on April 27, 1902. It forms an annex to Pasetti's 
despatch to Goluchowski, May 6, 1902. 

289 Goluchowski to Pasetti, April 15, 1902; and Szogye*ny to Goluchowski, April 
14, 1902. Telegram. 

290 As Pasetti telegraphed to Goluchowski on April 16, Count Wedel, the German 
ambassador, had succeeded in persuading Prinetti "that the present wording*of 
Article IX contains in itself the fulfilment of his wishes; but since there is no mention 
in it of Austria-Hungary, he desires a separate declaration of disinterestedness from 
us in addition to the treaty." 

291 Szogye"ny to Goluchowski, April 16, 1902. 

292 SzogySny to Goluchowski, April 16, 1902. As early as the beginning of April, 
the German government had sought to influence Goluchowski in this direction. 
Billow to Goluchowski (undated); transmitted by Reuss about the beginning of 

293 Pasetti to Goluchowski, April 16 and 18, 1902. 


treaty of the Triple Alliance itself, she was ready to give a written 
promise to take no steps "which might hinder Italian action in 
Tripoli or in Cyrenaica in the event that the existing status quo in 
this region should, as the result of particular circumstances, 
undergo a change and Italy were to find herself forced to resort to 
such measures as her own interests might dictate." This declara- 
tion, however, would only be given by Pasetti after the formal 
renewal of the treaty of the Triple Alliance. 294 Goluchowski also 
met Prinetti's wishes regarding the commercial treaty. Pasetti 
was instructed to hand Prinetti a confidential unsigned memoran- 
dum expressing the firm purpose of Austria-Hungary to do every- 
thing in her power to prevent a lapse of the treaty between 
Austria-Hungary and Italy, " since the lack of an understanding 
in economic matters was regarded in Vienna as dangerous in the 
extreme, not only with regard to Austria-Hungary's own interests, 
but also because of its harmful reaction on the political relations of 
the two states." 295 

Count Goluchowski's declaration concerning Tripolitania satis- 
fied Prinetti, but not his proposed solution of the commercial 
question. The Italian minister declared that he shrank from the 
thought that a customs war might break out a year and a half 
after the conclusion of a six year term of alliance. Out of consider- 
ation for his sovereign, he would not venture to accept such a 
proposal, which would only strengthen the anti-monarchical move- 
ment in Italy. He therefore returned to his original proposal first 
to establish the duration of the treaty of the Triple Alliance at 
three years, prolonging it only after the conclusion of the com- 
mercial treaty. 296 Both Goluchowski 297 and Bulow firmly de- 
clined to consider this, 298 though they stated at the same time that 

294 Goluchowski to Pasetti, April 18, 1902. In substance and, to a certain extent, 
in form Goluchowski's declarations follow the proposals communicated to him by 
the German government about the beginning of April. 

296 Ibid. 

296 Pasetti to Goluchowski, April 19 and 22, 1902. 

297 Goluchowski to Szogyeny, April 22 and 24, 1902; Goluchowski to Pasetti, 
April 24, 1902. 

298 Szogyeny to Goluchowski, April 23 and 24, 1902; Bulow to Wedel, April 23, 


in view of the approaching parliamentary debates they must 
insist on the signature of the treaty of the Triple Alliance with 
the greatest possible expedition. 

The energetic measures taken by the Central Powers met with 
success. Lanza and Nigra, who, together with Giolitti, were sum- 
moned to Rome, supported the efforts of the German and Austro- 
Hungarian ambassadors, 299 and, as the result of their combined 
efforts, Zanardelli's opposition and the objections of the king were 
finally overcome. In conformity with the agreements concluded 
toward the end of April with Berlin and Vienna, 300 Prinetti issued 
on May 3 the written declaration of his willingness to renew the 
treaty of 1891 without alterations or additions; 301 at the same 
time, however, he expressed the wish that, in view of the imminent 
debates in the Italian Chamber, the signature of the treaty should 
be postponed until July i, 1902, at the latest, "in order that 
attacks from the Opposition may be met with the assertion that 
the renewal of the Triple Alliance has not yet taken place." 302 
Both Goluchowski and Billow announced their willingness to 
accede to this request. 303 At the wish of the Italian statesman 
they also renounced their plan of consummating the renewal of 

299 Pasetti to Goluchowski, April 22, 27, and 30, and May 6, 1902. 

300 Goluchowski to Pasetti, April 29, 1902. 

301 Prinetti's declaration, dated May 3, 1902 (original), annexed to Pasetti's des- 
patch of May 6, 1902. It reads as follows: "M r . I'ambassadeur! Le traitS d'alliance 
du 6 mai 1891 arrivant a l'6cheance du 17 mai de l'anne prochaine, les trois gouver- 
nements alli6s ont entrepris en vue du renouvellement de cet acte un echange d'idees 
qui a heureusement abouti a un accord complet sur tous les points qui formaient 
Tobjet de leur examen. Je suis done maintenant en mesure, ayant pris les ordres de 
S.M., de declarer a V. Exc., avec priere de vouloir bien en faire part a son gouverne- 
ment, que le gouvernement du roi est pret, pour ce qui le concerne, a renouveler le 
traite du 6 mai 1891 dans son texte actuel sans aucune modification ni addition. Le 
gouvernement du roi desire et il propose aux gouvernements allies que la signature 
du nouveau traite ait lieu i. er juillet prochain." As Pasetti informed Goluchowski on 
May 6, 1902, this agreement was attained only after a long struggle. Lemonon's 
statement (V 'Europe et la politique Britannique, p. 457, note i), "En 1902, la triple- 
alliance fut renouvelee, mais dans des conditions sans doute differentes de celles dans 
lesquelles elle avait ete precedemment prorogue," is without foundation. 

302 Pasetti to Goluchowski, May 4, 1902. 

303 Goluchowski to Szogy6ny, May 4, 1902; Szogy6ny to Goluchowski, May 5, 


the Triple Alliance by means of a simple protocol, 304 and finally 
assented to his suggestion that the protocol of 1891, which they 
had long refused to renew on account of its superfluity, should be 
added to the new treaty document. Pains were taken in Berlin to 
point out that this had been done because 'the fact that the 
treaty had been accepted without alteration was thus all the more 
clearly emphasized.' 305 For the same reason the cabinet of Berlin 
had already decided to renounce the idea of an automatic renewal 
of the alliance on the expiration of the fixed period for giving 
warning. 806 On June 28 the new treaty was signed in Berlin; 307 
on June 30, in conformity with his promise, Pasetti communicated 
the note which determined Austria-Hungary's attitude in the 
matter of Tripoli. 308 The exchange of ratifications took place in 
Berlin on July 8, I9O2. 309 

304 On May 13, Miihlberg, the Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign Office, 
transmitted to Count Szogygny, by instruction of the Imperial Chancellor, the draft 
of the protocol by means of which the renewal of the Triple Alliance was to be con- 
summated. It reads as follows: "Protocole. Les soussigneV' (here follow the names 
and titles of the three plenipotentiaries, Billow, Szogy6ny, and Lanza) "munis de 
pleins-pouvoirs qui ont 6t6 trouv6s en bonne et due forme se sont r6unis aujourd'hui 
a Berlin et sont convenus de ce qui suit: i. Le trait6 d'alliance conclu a Berlin le 6 
mai 1891 entre les puissances signataires du present protocole et ratine a Berlin le 17 
mai de la meme ann6e est confirm6 de nouveau et continuera a rester en vigueur dans 
toute son 6tendue a 1'exception de 1'article XIV, remplace par la disposition pr6sente, 
pour 1'espace de six ans a compter de l'6change des ratifications du pr6sent proto- 
cole; mais s'iln'avait pas6t6 d6nonc6 un an a Tavance par Tune ou 1'autre des H.P.C., 
il restera en vigueur pour un autre espace de six ans. 2. Le present protocole sera 
ratifi6 et les ratifications en seront 6chang6es a Berlin dans un d61ai de trois semaines 
ou plus t6t si faire se peut. En foi, etc. Fait a Berlin en triple exemplaire le i er 
juillet 1902." The Austro-Hungarian government gave its assent, but the Italians 
declined this project and demanded a formal treaty. After further negotiations the 
Central Powers yielded. Szogy6ny to Goluchowski, June 7, n, and 14, 1902; Pa- 
setti to Goluchowski, June 5, 1902. 

306 Goluchowski to Szogy6ny, June 16, 1902, and SzogySny to Goluchowski, 
June 1 8, 1902. 

306 Szogyeny to Goluchowski, May 14, 1902. 

307 Szogy6ny to Goluchowski, June 28, 1902. Wedel to Goluchowski, the same 
date. Wedel particularly emphasized the services rendered by Goluchowski "in pre- 
serving unchanged the well tested foundations of our alliance and removing all 
obstacles which lay in our common path." 

308 Pasetti to Goluchowski, July i, 1902. Cf. the text, Vol. I, p. 232. 

309 Szogy6ny to Goluchowski, July 8, 1902. Telegram. 



THE treaty of 1902, like that of 1891, was concluded for six years, 
and was likewise to be valid for six years more in case none of the 
allied powers availed itself of the right to denounce it one year 
before the date of expiration, or to demand its revision. The 
period allowed for denunciation was to come to an end on July 8, 
1907; and the relations between the allies had in the meanwhile 
undergone such changes that this date was looked forward to with 
some apprehension by all the powers concerned. Italy's rap- 
prochement with France had made substantial progress since 
1902. A few days after the signing of the fourth treaty of the 
Triple Alliance, Delcasse had said in the Chamber: "Italy's 
policy, as the result of her alliances, is aimed neither directly nor 
indirectly against France. In no event can these alliances con- 
stitute a menace to us, either diplomatically or through protocols 
or military conventions. In no event and in no way can Italy be- 
come the tool or the accomplice in an attack on our country." 31 
These utterances were at variance with the provisions of the 
Triple Alliance. They were not taken very seriously, however, by 
governmental circles in Vienna and Berlin not even when 
Count Monts, the well informed German ambassador in Rome, 
reported, at the beginning of 1903, that Italy had concluded 
a far reaching agreement with France which was in direct opposi- 
tion to the pledges assumed by her toward her allies. 311 The 
course of events showed that Monts's information had been cor- 

310 Journal qfficiel, Chambre des Dput6s, 1902, p. 2084 (3 juillet). 

311 Count Monts, in an article in the Neue Freie Presse of February 23, 1919, 
stresses the fact that at that time no credence had been given his statements in 
Berlin. Details concerning the contents of this treaty, concluded between France 
and Italy in November, 1902, were given in an article in Le Temps on December 22, 
1918. See Appendix C, below. Cf. also G. von Jagow, Ursachen und Ausbruch des 
Weltkrieges (1919), pp. 41 f-> note. 



rect. Italy's leaning towards the Western Powers grew more 
marked from year to year. 312 Especially after the governments of 
France and England had peacefully settled their differences by the 
treaty of April 8, 1904, and were bound by a close community of 
interests, 313 the government leaders of Italy felt that the interests 
of their country demanded that they should avoid anything which 
might displease the statesmen in Paris or contain the germs of 
possible hostilities with France. Until now they had been able to 
hope that if war broke out between France and Italy, England 
would join forces with them, or at least observe a benevolent neu- 
trality. In such an event they must now count on England's par- 
ticipation in the war as an ally of France and an adversary of 
Italy. They realized that it would be impossible to protect their 
country against the combined fleets of these two states, and 
feared that the assistance of the Central Powers, guaranteed them 
by the treaty, would in any case come too late to be of avail in 
safeguarding their far extended coast line, exposed as it was to 
enemy attacks. As we know, they had already informed their 
allies that they could not promise to join them in a war against 
the two Western Powers. 314 The more imminent grew the danger 
of an Anglo-German war, and consequently of a European confla- 
gration, the more irksome the Italian statesmen found their obli- 

In addition to this, public opinion in Italy expressed itself more 
clearly from year to year against the continuance of friendly rela- 
tions with Austria-Hungary. The cry for an extension of Italy's 
sphere of influence on the farther shore of the Adriatic grew con- 
tinually more insistent after the miscarriage of her colonial plans. 
As the conviction became firmer that the fulfilment of these as- 
pirations must take place against Austria-Hungary's will, and not 

312 In the fall of 1903 Victor Emmanuel referred in Paris to "the happily termi- 
nated work of rapprochement" between France and Italy. Cf. H. von Liebig, Die 
Politik von Bethmann-Hollwegs (1919), i, p. 56; K. Helfferich, Vorgeschichte des Welt- 
krieges (1919), i, p. 29. 

313 Cf. Friedjung, Das Zeitalter des Imperialismus, i, pp. 407 ff.; E. Lemonon, 
L' 'Europe et la politique britannique (1882-1911}, pp. 344 ff.; Debidour, Histoire di- 
plomatique de I'Europe, iii, pp. 279 ff., and the literature cited there. 

314 Cf. pp. nof. 


with her help, the voices demanding a break with the existing 
policy and an open union with the Western Powers grew more 
numerous. Every step taken by the Austro-Hungarian govern- 
ment in Albania was watched with jealousy and distrust. Politi- 
cians and journalists warned the government not to allow itself to 
be hoodwinked by promises or agreements, and kept endlessly 
repeating that the Dual Monarchy intended to swallow up Al- 
bania, just as it had engulfed Bosnia and Herzegovina. Then, 
too, there was the Macedonian question, which was continually 
giving rise to fresh complaints and recriminations. Especially 
since the convention of Miirzsteg, in the fall of 1903, when Russia 
and Austria-Hungary had agreed jointly to undertake adminis- 
trative reform and the restoration of order in Macedonia, the fear 
of coming away empty-handed from the division of spoils had 
driven the Italian politicians and publicists to attack their Danu- 
bian ally with ever increasing violence. 315 At the same time the 
chorus of demands for the liberation of the 'unredeemed' terri- 
tory kept swelling. This Irredentist movement received fresh 
impetus from the clashes between German and Italian students at 
the University of Innsbruck. In 1905, Marcora, President of the 
Italian Chamber, spoke of "our Tyrol." 316 

In all these Austro-Italian conflicts Germany had assumed the 
role of mediator, usually with success. She had been able to do so 
because no particular rjoints of friction existed between her and 
Italy, although the efforts of the latter to ingratiate herself with 
France were watched with increasing displeasure in Berlin, where 
there was no lack of censure of the restless and rapacious Italian 
policy. Hitherto, the leading German statesmen had not given 
up hope that in the event of war between France and Germany, 
Italy would be mindful of her obligations and align herself with 
her ally; but when Italy supported Germany's adversaries in 
the Moroccan affair and during the course of the Algeciras con- 
ference, many were shaken in this belief. The question then arose 
whether all efforts had not been in vain, whether it was still de- 

316 Cf. L. Chlumecky, Osterreich-Ungarn und Italien, ad ed., pp. 55 ff.; Sosnosky, 
PP. 135 ff- 

318 Cf. Singer, p. 154. 


sirable to cling to the alliance. Statesmen there were of no mean 
influence who urged a dissolution of the alliance with Italy and a 
new orientation of German policy in the direction of a revival of 
the League of the Three Emperors, in which they saw the surest 
safeguard against the perils threatening Germany from the West. 
The German ministers, however, with Billow in the lead, 317 ad* 
hered firmly to the policy of the Triple Alliance. They had no 
desire to drive Italy into the arms of their opponents, knowing as 
they did that by so doing the moral influence of the Central 
European Alliance would be weakened and the aggressive ten- 
dencies in France correspondingly strengthened. 318 Similar con- 
siderations prevailed with the government of Vienna, which still 
regarded the security of its southern and southwestern frontiers 
against Italian invasion as indispensable in the event of a war 
with Russia, and for this reason preferred the continuance of 
treaty relations with its undependable ally to an open break. 

Italy's leading statesmen were also convinced that the moment 
had not arrived for a radical change in their foreign policy. They 
realized that Germany's support could not as yet be dispensed 
with in carrying out their colonial schemes in North Africa, and 
that any solution of the Balkan problem in a manner satisfactory 
to Italy could not be hoped for if opposed by Austria-Hungary 
so long at least as Austria kept on good terms with Russia. As 
Count Nigra once remarked, Italy had to be either the enemy or 
the ally of Austria-Hungary. 319 Since she did not feel strong 
enough at that time to seek a decision by trial of arms, her re- 
sponsible statesmen, defying the radical element of public opin- 
ion, found it best to adhere to the treaty of the Triple Alliance, 
and to that devious policy, thanks to which they had obtained 

817 In Deutsche Politik, p. 69, Billow later expressed the opinion that Italy had 
not sought to part company with her allies "either at Algeciras, or during her Tripo- 
litan expedition, or shortly before this, on the occasion of the interview of Rac- 
conigi.' ' "At Algeciras," he declared, " the Italian representatives took their stand 
in certain secondary matters with the Western Powers, and against us. ... In 
other more important questions, Italy supported and furthered our point of view." 

318 Cf. G. von Jagow, Ursachen und Ausbruch des Weltkrieges (1919), p. 43. 

319 Count Nigra is generally recognized as the originator of this remark. Jagow 
(p. 27) now asserts that Visconti-Venosta once said to him, "L'ltalie ne peut 6tre 
que rennemi ou bien TalKe" de 1'Autriche." 


valuable concessions from their allies as well as from the Western 
Powers, and hoped to obtain others still more valuable. 

It was a good omen for the policy favoring the maintenance of 
friendly relations with the allies, when, in the course of 1903, 
Giolitti and Tittoni replaced Zanardelli and Prinetti. Both de- 
clared their willingness to hold fast to the Triple Alliance, to settle 
peacefully the existing difficulties with Austria-Hungary, and to 
avoid fresh ones. Since Goluchowski was striving toward the 
same end, they succeeded after many a struggle, it is true, in 
which the German diplomats were forced to offer mediation in 
reaching an agreement, or at least a modus vivendi. For example, 
the commercial questions, which for years had violently agitated 
public opinion in Italy and Austria-Hungary and given rise to in- 
terminable negotiations between the two cabinets, were now 
solved by a series of treaties in a manner acceptable to both par- 
ties. 320 This was also the case with the Balkan problems. Both 
countries kept their eyes fixed on the goal and watched Argus- 
eyed every step taken by the rival; they avoided any open con- 
flict, however, and sought for means of averting the threatened 
conflict. The conferences between Goluchowski and Tittoni at 
Abbazia and Venice in 1904 and 1905 also served this purpose. 
Agreements were reached in all pending questions, and it was de- 
cided to forego any policy of aggression in the Balkans. Austria- 
Hungary bound herself to take no steps in that region without a 
previous agreement with her ally, only reserving freedom of ac- 
tion with regard to Bosnia, Herzegovina, and the sanjak of Novi- 
Bazar. 321 By the end of 1905, therefore, Billow believed that no 
danger existed of Italy's alienation from the Triple Alliance. 
"Italy," he declared, "has cast her lot with the Triple Alliance, 
not for reasons of mawkish sentimentality, but because she finds 

320 After a succession of provisory measures, the definitive settlement took place 
through the treaty of commerce and navigation concluded at Rome on February n, 
1906. Cf. Bittner, op. cit., iii, p. 548, no. 5152. 

321 Goluchowski's notes on his conversations with Tittoni (State Archives). 
Tittoni, in his speech of December 18, 1906, expressed himself at length concerning 
these agreements. The important passages are given in Italy's Foreign and Colonial 
Policy: A Selection from the Speeches delivered in the Italian Parliament by Tom- 
maso Tittoni (English translation by Baron di San Severino, London, 1914), pp. 


it to her advantage to do so. The reasons which originally brought 
the three great states together are still in existence; nothing has 
happened to work a change in them. . . . The Triple Alliance is 
determined to preserve the peace and the status quo in Europe. 
That was our ptoint of departure; that was why we renewed the 
Triple Alliance; that is why we are clinging steadfastly to it." 322 

Early in 1906, however, began that sinister disturbance of the 
relations between Italy and the Central Powers to which reference 
has already been made. 323 The attitude of the Italian statesmen 
at Algeciras caused bitterness in Berlin, where there was much 
talk of Italy's base ingratitude for the manifold services rendered 
her. It was at this time that Emperor William, in a conversation 
with Szogyeny, "stigmatized Italy's double-faced attitude in 
particularly disapproving terms." He declared (Szogyeny wrote) 
" that it was really monstrous for any one to give thought to the 
possibility of war against an ally; he must assure me, however, 
that in case Italy should show hostility to Austria-Hungary, he 
would seize with real enthusiasm the opportunity to join us and to 
turn loose upon her his whole military strength." 324 The Italians, 
on the other hand, disquieted by Austria-Hungary's military 
preparations in the southern Tyrol, 325 kept complaining with in- 
creasing bitterness of the action of the government of Vienna, 
which, they claimed, was attempting in collaboration with Russia 
to limit the participation of the other powers in the new ordering 
of affairs in Macedonia. 

So far the question of the renewal of the Triple Alliance had not 
been mentioned by either side. It appeared best to the parties 

822 Cf. Singer, pp. 156 f. Cf. pp. 134 ff. 

324 Sz6gye"ny's letter to Goluchowski, April 10, 1906. Szogy6ny's telegram of 
April 8 reads as follows: "He did not wish to waste many words over Italy, and 
would only give the assurance that if the opportunity should arise and this was 
not impossible in view of the unreliable policy of that kingdom it would give him 
great satisfaction to join us in administering a salutary lesson to Italy, perhaps even 
with arms in hand." The difference between the two communications is self-evident. 
Although the telegram was sent off while the impression of the conversation was still 
fresh, the more explicit despatch probably gives the Emperor's words more correctly. 
That these words were only the expression of momentary excitement is shown by the 
attitude of William II at the conferences of June, 1906 (cf. p. 140), when he most 
emphatically expressed the opinion that Italy must be kept in the Triple Alliance. 

6 Cf. Singer, p. 158. 


concerned to let matters take their natural course. In April, 1906, 
Count Liitzow, the Austro-Hungarian ambassador to Italy, be- 
lieved he was justified in characterizing as groundless the rumors 
circulating in Rome that Barrere was working against a renewal 
of the Triple Alliance. "In German circles," he wrote, "this 
matter is considered to lack any foundation in fact; indeed, it has 
not even been mentioned; and Barrere is not a man to waste his 
powder for nothing." He believed that in Italy, too, the deci- 
sive elements of this question had not yet been closely examined. 
"If that time were finally to arrive," he said, "I consider it by 
no means improbable that thanks to Algeciras the fear of 
being drawn into complications with England would manifest it- 
self in some manner." Liitzow conjectured that the Italians 
would express a wish "for a revival of the declaration of 1882," 
which specified that the provisions of the Triple Alliance should 
under no circumstance be regarded as directed against Eng- 
land. 326 Soon after this, however in May, 1906 Count 
Monts, who chanced to be in Berlin at that time, confronted the 
Imperial Chancellor and the Secretary of State with the question 
whether, in view of Italy's attitude, it would not be better to 
make use of the right of denunciation and dissolve an alliance 
which afforded disproportionately greater advantages to Italy 
than to the Central Powers. 327 

Count Monts, on his return to Rome, declared to Liitzow that 
no rational being could believe that Italy would rush to arms to 
help Germany in a war against France. In its existing form the 
treaty laid Germany under heavy obligations to Italy without 
affording a corresponding equivalent; and this state of affairs 
could not continue. He then suggested diplomatic support by 
Italy of German economic policy in Asia Minor. Germany, for 
her part, could insure Italy, through a stipulation annexed to the 
treaty of the Triple Alliance, against all complications with Eng- 

326 Liitzow to Goluchowski, April 17, 1906. In his despatch of April 26, Lutzow 
repeated this opinion in connection with a passage from a speech by Guicciardini, 
in which he said that in the first treaty of the Triple Alliance of 1882, Italy "had 
placed first and foremost her traditional and unswerving relations with Eng- 

327 Szogy6ny to Goluchowski, May 22, 1906. 


land which might arise from the union with the Central Powers. 328 
The responsible ministers, however, were not convinced; they 
considered any discussion of the question to be premature. In the 
conferences which took place in Vienna in the middle of June, 
1906, between Emperor William, Tschirschky, and Goluchowski, 
no mention was made of a dissolution or a modification of the 
Triple Alliance. In view of the general situation, emphasis was 
laid rather on the necessity of drawing Italy as close as possible to 
the Central Powers. 329 This policy was maintained by Goluchow- 
ski and Billow, and also by Baron Aehrenthal, who had been 
guiding Austro-Hungarian foreign policy since October, 1906. On 
the occasion of a conversation which took place between Aehren- 
thal and Billow in November, 1906, at Berlin, the two statesmen 
agreed that " the only right way is to wait calmly for Italy herself 
to denounce the treaty or to approach us with new proposals." 
Billow expected her to do neither. Furthermore, as Count Monts 
repeatedly asserted in Rome, 330 he expressed no intention of bring- 
ing forward suggestions for changes on his own part. 331 In order to 
calm the Austro-Hungarian government, which feared something 
of this nature, he officially informed Count Monts that, "al- 

328 Liitzow to Goluchowski, May 24, 1906 (telegram), and June 12, 1006 (letter). 
For Count Monts's appraisal of the questionable value of the Triple Alliance, cf . also 
his article in the Berliner Tageblatt of October 14, 1911, cited by Doerkes-Boppard in 
Das Ende des Dreibundes, p. 38, in which he states, inter alia: " Of what use is Italy to 
us, after all? We know of no instance in which we have enjoyed even the diplomatic 
support of this power. We have far of tener had to see her in the ranks of our oppo- 
nents. We know well enough that in an hour of peril she would never give us mili- 
tary assistance; on the contrary, we are forced to suspect that she is ready at any 
moment to attack our Austrian ally in the rear. And yet we allow the continuance of 
a sham alliance which gives advantages to the Italians alone, and lays upon us no- 
thing but obligations. . . . Away, therefore, with the Triple Alliance; it has long 
outlived its usefulness." 

329 Goluchowski to Liitzow, June 20, 1006. Impartial observers had no high 
opinion of Italy's loyalty. At that time the Belgian minister in Berlin wrote to Brus- 
sels: "Le d6sir de 1'empereur d'AUemagne d'affirmer 1'existence de la triple-alliance 
se comprend d'autant mieux qu'elle est incessament battue en brSche par les puis- 
sances qui n'en font pas partie et que la fid61it6 de 1'Italie est devenue au moins 
douteuse." Zur europaischen Politik, ii, p. 121. Cf. Vol. I, supra, pp. 16 ff. 

330 Liitzow, October 19, 1906, telegram, and despatch to Aehrenthal, October 30, 

331 Aehrenthal to Liitzow, November 21, 1006. Private letter. 


though he well realized the deficiencies and shortcomings of the 
present treaty," he had given up any idea of revising it. 332 Several 
weeks previously, Tittoni, referring to the rumors which connected 
the visit to Rome of Tschirschky, the German Secretary of State, 
with the renewal of the Triple Alliance, had remarked to Count 
Liitzow, "No one cares to denounce it." 333 Thus matters re- 

The efforts of all influential circles were now exerted towards 
making possible the prolongation of the treaty, which, it was held, 
worked for the interests of all three states and the peace of Europe 
as well. "As long as Italy remains faithful and true to the Triple 
Alliance," declared Billow on November 14, 1906, in the Reichs- 
tag, "she contributes by this very fact toward the maintenance 
of peace for herself and for others. If Italy were to break away 
from the Triple Alliance, or pursue a vacillating and ambiguous 
policy, she would be contributing materially to the chances of a 
conflagration." %4 Aehrenthal, too, said in his message to the 
Delegations in December, 1906, that his conversation with Bil- 
low and his communication with Tittoni had resulted in the 
"happy fact of the complete harmony of our views," and added 
that "the good relations existing between our government and 
that of Italy will make it easier for us to deal in perfect calm with 
the differences which, unfortunately, have often arisen, and to en- 
lighten public opinion in both countries, which has often been 
irritable and misguided." 385 Tittoni's speech, delivered in the 
Italian Chamber on December 18, 1906, was animated by the same 
spirit. He, too, emphasized his purpose to maintain the Triple 
Alliance, saying, "May this explicit affirmation serve to show 
the error of those who, from time to time, upon the slightest 
ground declare it weakened and predict its early end." 336 

Thanks to the efforts of these men and their followers, the 
Triple Alliance was also brought safely through the grave crisis 
which threatened its existence in the first months of 1907, partic- 

332 Liitzow to Aehrenthal, November 24, 1906. Telegram. 

333 Liitzow to Aehrenthal, October 19, 1906. Telegram. 

334 Singer, p. 162. 
336 Singer, p. 165. 

336 Tittoni, op. cit., p. 45. 


ularly as the result of the efforts of King Edward VII to hem in 
Germany. In the course of the negotiations between the leading 
statesmen of the three powers, the question of the denunciation 
of the treaty of the Triple Alliance was not touched upon, and 
July 8, 1907, was allowed to pass by without use being made of 
the right of denunciation. The prolongation of the treaty for a 
further period of six years, until July 8, 1914, was thus tacitly 


DECEMBER 5, 1912 

WHEN the prolongation of the fourth treaty of the Triple Alliance 
was assured July, 1907 no illusions were cherished in Vienna 
or in Berlin as to its value. The initiated in both capitals took it 
for granted that, if an emergency were to arise, Italy would in no 
case fulfil her obligations promptly and hi full measure. They 
knew that Victor Emmanuel III had assumed obligations toward 
France and England which were incompatible with those of the 
Triple Alliance. They were convinced that the majority of Italian 
statesmen would more or less gladly range themselves with the 
adversaries of the Central Powers, if these should prove to be the 
stronger. They were well aware that the Italian government was 
restrained from yielding to the pressure of public opinion and 
loosing the unnatural tie which bound it to the Central Powers 
especially Austria-Hungary only by its lack of confidence in 
the straightforwardness of France and its belief that adherence to 
the Triple Alliance afforded a sort of guaranty for her loyalty. 337 
If the government leaders in Berlin and Vienna advocated the 
continuance of the Triple Alliance, and persisted in their willing- 
ness to make fresh sacrifices for the sake of holding their unre- 
liable ally, they did so because they saw in this alliance the only 
safeguard against Italy's open defection to the camp of the enemy; 
and this, for their own interests, they wished to avert as long as 

This policy was vigorously defended by Aehrenthal against the 
party which, under the leadership of Conrad von Hotzendorf, 
chief of the General Staff, urged a ' timely' settling of accounts 
with the 'faithless' ally. Italy, as Conrad put it, had been "fol- 

337 The Belgian, Greindl, also expressed the same opinion two years later; cf. his 
despatch of April 17, 1909, cited by Hashagen, Umrisse der Weltpolitik, ii, p. 48. 



lowing the tricky policy of keeping two irons continually in the 
fire namely, the so-called loyal government with the so-called 
loyal king, and the so-called National party, difficult of restraint, 
with its Pan-Italian programme." 338 Aehrenthal was in favor of 
preparing for every possible emergency, but also of avoiding every 
step which might be regarded in Italy as a provocation. He would 
listen to no talk of a preventive war. "A conflict of this nature," 
he declared as early as April, 1907, " would not only be at variance 
with the traditions of Austria; it would not be understood ha these 
days when war means the mobilization of the entire nation. The 
necessary unlimited moral cooperation between army and civil 
population would be lacking. Moreover, I should be at a loss to 
know the object of such a war. As history has taught us, fur- 
ther territorial acquisitions in Italy would be a disaster for the 
monarchy." 339 

This conviction, shared by the majority of the German states- 
men, especially Chancellors Billow and Bethmann-Hollweg, domi- 
nated Aehrenthal. Supported by his sovereign, who stood by him 
through thick and thin, he was engaged to the end of his life 
(February, 1912) in stormy contests with the war party the 
supporters of which were not confined to the army in defence 
of the preservation of the Triple Alliance and the maintenance of 
good relations with Italy. In this he was successful. The breach 
with Italy was avoided, and the Triple Alliance was brought 
through the serious crisis which threatened its existence between 
1907 and 1912. This had not been easily accomplished. Every 
step taken by Aehrenthal to strengthen the position of his country 
was opposed by Italy. He had either to forego his plans or buy 
the assent of the Italian cabinet with significant concessions. His 
project for extending to Mitrovitza the railroad leading from 
Sarajevo to the frontier of the sanjak, thus establishing communi- 
cation with Salonica and the Aegean, was thwarted by the Ital- 
ians, who demanded the construction of other Balkan railroads 
running from the Danube to the Adriatic and from Valona to 
Monastir. And when Aehrenthal proceeded with the annexation 

338 Memorandum from Conrad von Hotzendorf, September 4, 1909. 

339 Aehrenthal's report to Francis Joseph I, April, 1907. 


of Bosnia and Herzegovina, shortly after the meeting of Tsar 
Nicholas II and King Edward VII at Reval in June, 1908, and 
the Young Turk revolution of July, 1908, he had the greatest diffi- 
culty in obtaining Italy's assent by means of suitable compensa- 
tions. In September, 1908, he declared his willingness to renounce 
the rights accruing to the Dual Monarchy in Montenegro through 
paragraph 29 of the Acts of the Congress of Berlin, as well as the 
right of garrison in the sanjak of Novi-Bazar, which had been 
promised it by Article 25 of the Treaty of Berlin. In spite of this, 
fiery speeches against Austria-Hungary's aggressive policy were 
delivered in the Italian Chamber after the annexation had taken 
place. The deputy Fortis declared, amid general applause, "The 
only state which really threatens us with war is in alliance with 
us." Barzilai, a veteran Austrophobe, demanded, on the ground of 
the so-called promises which Austria was alleged to have given in 
I882, 340 that the Trentino should be handed over to Italy by way 
of compensation for the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
In other quarters open union with the Triple Entente was de- 
manded; but to Italy's responsible statesmen the time for such a 
step did not appear to have arrived. 

The firmness of the policy of the Central Powers, the energetic 
support by Emperor William II of his friend and ally, and the 
obvious impotence of Russia, who could not venture to try con- 
clusions with the united forces of the Danubian Monarchy and 
Germany after her defeats in Manchuria all these made it seem 
advisable to Tittoni, the controller of Italy's foreign policy, to fall 
into line with his allies. In a speech before the Chamber in De- 
cember, 1908, he expressed with great cleverness the opinion that 
his programme of 1907 " unshakable fidelity to the Triple Alli- 
ance and sincere friendship for England and France" 341 still 
served Italy's interests best. He most emphatically refused "to 
choose between alliance and friendship, or to give up either the 
one or the other"; "Our alliance with Germany and Austria- 
Hungary, to which we remain true," he said at the time, "must 

340 In his speech of December 3, 1908, Tittoni declared that this assertion had no 
foundation whatever. Cf. Italy's Foreign and Colonial Policy, pp. 121 ff. 

341 Tittoni's speech of May 15, 1907. Cf . Italy's Foreign and Colonial Policy, p. 85. 


not, to my mind, be an obstacle to our traditional friendship with 
England, to our renewed friendship with France, and to the 
recent understanding with Russia." 342 In order to set the Aus- 
trian government at rest, he expressly stated in the Chamber that 
he had ransacked the Italian archives in vain for documents 
which might give a basis for Italy's claim on the Trentino after 
the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the same time 
he emphasized the fact that the article of the treaty of the Triple 
Alliance guaranteeing compensations to Italy presupposed new 
territorial acquisitions by the Dual Monarchy in the Balkans; 
and the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina could not be thus 
described. 343 

By his censure of the manner in which Aehrenthal had brought 
about this annexation, however, and his characterization of Italy's 
rapprochement with Russia as an accomplished fact, he showed 
plainly enough to the partisans of the Triple Alliance where his 
real sympathies lay, and along what paths he intended to guide 
Italy when the right moment should come. He adhered to this 
shifty policy even after the crisis over the annexation was past. 
Tittoni lacked faith in the sincerity of the assurances given by 
Aehrenthal, who had twice pledged himself in 1907 at Desio, in 
1908 at Salzburg to joint Austro-Italian action in all Balkan 
questions; 344 he also feared that Austria-Hungary would come to 
an understanding with Russia regarding the division of Turkish 
territory in the Balkans, leaving Italy out in the cold. For this 
reason, he strove, from the end of 1908 to the fall of 1909, to bring 
about an understanding between Russia, Austria-Hungary, and 
Italy, 345 which would determine the spheres of influence of the 
three powers hi the Balkans. And while this plan came to nothing, 
agreements were reached with the Russian government on the 
occasion of Nicholas IFs visit to Racconigi in October, 1909, 

342 Italy's Foreign and Colonial Policy, p. 147. 

343 Ibid., pp. i2iff. 

344 This matter will be treated in detail in the introduction to the treaties between 
Italy and Austria-Hungary. 

346 Documents in the State Archives. This question will be examined in detail in 
another connection. Cf . the despatches of the Belgian representative at this time. 
Zur europaischen Politik, iii, pp. 106 f ., etc. 


which not only averted this danger, 346 but also plainly indicated 
that Italy stood closer to the Western Powers and Russia than to 
her own allies. Italy's faith in the former was not yet strong 
enough, however, and the latter were too powerful, to permit her 
to drop the mask. Her leading statesmen still felt it desirable to 
cling to the Triple Alliance. For this reason, and in order to pre- 
pare for all eventualities, Tittoni sought in the course of 1909 to 
reassure the Central Powers, whose distrust of Italy's loyalty to 
the alliance was being expressed more and more insistently. To an 
interpellation by Barzilai regarding the alleged premature re- 
newal of the treaty of the Triple Alliance, he replied in June, 1909 : 
"The Triple Alliance not only has not been renewed; I can give 
the most definite assurances that none of the contracting parties 
has thought or is thinking of a premature renewal. No reason 
exists for not calmly awaiting its expiration. The wish to renew it 
prematurely can originate only in misgivings regarding its future 
existence. Such misgivings, however, are not justified; for the 
powers of the Triple Alliance are enjoying the best of relations 
with one another." 347 

These "best of relations" were, as a matter of fact, wholly 
imaginary. The governing circles in Vienna and Berlin were fac- 
ing the reality that the Triple Alliance was in a bad way; but they 
were still determined to block Italy's open defection to the side of 
their adversaries as long as possible. For this purpose Aehrenthal 
decided to make another concession. In December, 1909, he 
reached an agreement with the new Italian government Guic- 
ciardini had now assumed control of foreign policy which 
limited yet more the freedom of action of the Dual Monarchy in 
the Balkans. In interpreting Article VII of the treaty of the 

346 Compare the information concerning the Russo-Italian treaty of October 24, 
1909, in the publication Deutschland schuldig?, German White Book regarding the 
responsibility of the authors of the War (1919), p. 189. According to this publi- 
cation, the last article of the treaty ran: "Italy and Russia bind themselves to ob- 
serve a benevolent attitude respectively toward the Russian question of the Straits, 
and toward Italian interests in Tripoli and Cyrenaica." Also see Bethmann-Holl- 
weg, Betrachtungen zum Weltkriege (1919), i, p. 76; B. Molden, Graf Aehrenthal, pp. 
173 f. 

347 Cf. Tittoni, Sei anni di politica ester a (Rome, 1912), p. 489. The passage is 
omitted from the English translation which we have several times cited above. 


Triple Alliance, Austria-Hungary now bound herself not to re- 
occupy the sanjak of Novi-Bazar without having previously come 
to an agreement with Italy based on a suitable compensation. In 
accordance with Italy's wishes, it was also specified that neither 
of the two signatory parties should reach an understanding with a 
third power about any Balkan question without the participation 
therein of the other signatory power on a footing of absolute 
equality. They also promised to inform one another of any plans 
on the part of a third power running contrary to the principle of 
non-intervention and tending to a modification of the status quo 
in the Balkans or the Turkish coasts and islands of the Adriatic or 
of the Aegean Sea. 348 

This new concession did not attain the end desired by Aehren- 
thal. Italy's leading statesmen, including Guicciardini's succes- 
sor, the Marquis San Giuliano, who took office in March, 1910, 
were past masters of the art of using a favorable situation to their 
own advantage. They kept making new demands, while public 
opinion in Italy clamored against a continuation of the alliance 
with the ' hereditary enemy.' The agreement of December, 1909, 
however, which indicated that Austria-Hungary had no intention 
of pressing on to Salonica, served to prevent the development of a 
crisis, and enabled San Giuliano, who actively supported the 
Triple Alliance and the maintenance of friendly relations between 
its members, to score a triumph of his policy over the numerous 
Italian partisans of the Triple Entente. The accommodating 
attitude observed by him in his conversations with German and 
Austro-Hungarian statesmen caused great satisfaction to these 
latter, and led to declarations which, though only verbal, gave 
hope of joint action by the powers of the Triple Alliance in mat- 
ters of world policy, and especially of cooperation between Italy 
and Austria-Hungary, for the immediate future at least, in the 
Balkan questions. It was also pleasing to Aehrenthal, who was 
anxious to avoid any strengthening of Pan-Slavic influence in the 
Western Balkans, with a consequent Russian penetration to the 

348 The agreement was consummated through an exchange of notes. Cf. Vol. I, 
pp. 240-243. The tedious negotiations which preceded the conclusion will be out- 
lined in a subsequent portion of this work. 


Adriatic, when San Giuliano declared in September, 1910, that it 
was to his country's interest to have a strong Austro-Hungarian 
monarchy as a neighbor. "This would be far more advantageous 
to Italy," he said, " than if a purely Slavic group were to be formed 
in the Balkans and to exercise its influence upon the provinces 
of the Dual Monarchy that border on Italy." 349 

No less acceptable was it to the Austro-Hungarian Minister of 
Foreign Affairs when he found that his views harmonized with 
those of San Giuliano with regard to the Turkish question, and 
the possibility of fresh changes in the Balkans. Both agreed that 
the dissolution of Turkey or its reduction to a vassal state of 
Russia must be prevented. Aehrenthal gained the impression 
that San Giuliano considered the "policy of coquetting with 
Russia, as pursued by Tittoni, was somewhat objectionable and 
out of harmony with the spirit of the Alliance." 35 At the close of 
his negotiations with San Giuliano, Aehrenthal believed that he 
was justified in alluding to the vigorous efforts of the Italian 
statesmen "to effect a closer union with the two allies." 351 

The events following immediately after appeared to bear out 
this view. During the second half of 1910 the relations of the 
powers of the Triple Alliance were more friendly than at any time 
since Algeciras. San Giuliano, speaking in the Chamber, be- 
stowed praise in full measure on the Triple Alliance, recommended 
a policy which would take account of the just demands of the 
Central Powers, and energetically denounced the Irredentist 
movement, declaring that "the originators of Irredentist agita- 
tion did not represent the true feelings of the great majority of the 
Italian people, who desired not only peace, but confidence and 
cordiality in their relations with their neighbors and allies." In 
his negotiations with the government of Vienna he also avoided 
bringing up the ticklish question of compensations for the event 
of an active Austro-Hungarian policy in the Balkans, "for in so 

349 Aehrenthal's notes on the conversations between himself and San Giuliano at 
Salzburg and Ischl, September, 1910. 

360 Ibid. 

361 As a reason for this, Aehrenthal gives the fact that the ties between Austria- 
Hungary and Germany were continually growing closer, while the Triple Entente 
showed "a lack of cohesion." 


doing an irreconcilable difference might arise between the two 
cabinets." He was the more anxious to avoid such an eventuality, 
because he saw the moment approaching for the realization of a 
plan with which Italian statesmen had been busied for over a 
generation: a plan which, for its successful consummation, de- 
pended in no small degree upon the attitude of the Central 

The increasingly visible decay of Turkey, as well as France's 
progress in Morocco, induced the Italian government in the 
course of 1911 to plan for the occupation of Tripoli tania. Italy 
had been assured a free hand in this region by the agreements 
concluded with the Western Powers at the beginning of the cen- 
tury. The only question was whether France would hold to the 
promises she had given; and San Giuliano appears to have had 
doubts on this score. He knew that French and English in their 
treaties had encroached on the southern borders of Tripolitania, 
and he may have feared that as soon as France had subdued 
Morocco she would take possession of all Tripolitania as well. 362 
For this reason he proceeded to take action as soon as the incor- 
poration of Morocco into France's colonial possessions became 
certain. " We have no other choice," he said, "unless we wish to 
let slip the last moment when the occupation of Tripoli is possible 
for us." 353 

This resolution also determined his attitude toward the Central 
Powers. Italy, in order to make certain of attaining her purpose, 
had to be sure that her allies, who were both keenly interested in 
the preservation of Turkey, should not thwart her. The provi- 
sions of the Triple Alliance guarded against this. Germany had 

362 In September, 1911, Avarna expressed this fear to Aehrenthal as follows: 
"France is on the verge of making a very important acquisition of territory, and is 
also bound by treaty to place no obstacles in the way of Italian activity in Tripoli. 
No one can tell whether at some later time a fresh grouping of European powers 
might not cause the favorable attitude of France to become less certain." Aehren- 
thal to Baron Ambr6zy, September 26, 1911. Cf. the Red Book of 1915, p. 201. 
Reventlow, in his Politische Vorgeschichte des grossen Krieges (1919), pp. 78 f., de- 
scribes Italy's relations with the Western Powers in a different way. According to 
him, the leading statesmen of England were the decisive element in the affair of 

353 Bulow, Deutsche Politik, p. 107. 


even assumed the obligation to intervene in Italy's behalf if the 
last-named power should find herself compelled by French aggres- 
sion to defend her interests in Tripoli. Austria-Hungary, too, had 
promised that if the dissolution of Turkey became inevitable, 
Tripoli should fall to the lot of Italy. It was obviously to Italy's 
interest to avoid anything which might give her allies just cause 
for new complaints at this particular moment. When, therefore, 
in June, 1911, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guicciar- 
dini, complained that Italy had fallen into a position tantamount 
to isolation through the lack of confidence characterizing her 
relations toward her allies, San Giuliano emphasized with the 
utmost warmth the necessity of a good understanding with Ger- 
many and Austria and vowed fidelity to the Triple Alliance. 354 He 
believed that he could count on the loyalty of the allies of his 
sovereign; but Francis Joseph was over eighty years old, and his 
health was failing. It was generally known throughout Italy that 
the heir to the throne, Francis Ferdinand, did not favor main- 
taining the Triple Alliance at any cost. 365 For this reason, it may 
have appeared desirable to San Giuliano to make certain beyond 
possibility of doubt, even as early as this, that the treaty, which 
expired in July, 1914, should be prolonged beyond this period. To 
attain this end he followed the example often set by his predeces- 
sors in office and turned first of all to Germany. 

Towards the end of July, 1911, Kiderlen-Wachter informed 
Count Aehrenthal that he had learned from reliable Roman 
sources that the Italian premier, Giolitti, and still more King 
Victor Emmanuel III, were in favor of an immediate renewal of 
the treaty of the Triple Alliance with no alteration whatever of its 
provisions, but that they hesitated to take the initiative. Going 
on the assumption that, in view of the general situation, Aehren- 
thal, like himself, was in favor of a "quiet renewal of the Treaty, 
as expeditious as possible and without changes," Kiderlen- 

364 Cf. Singer, pp. 219 f. 

366 In his latest work, Politische Vorgeschichte des grossen Krieges (1919), p. 3, 
Reventlow characterizes Francis Ferdinand's policy toward Italy in the following 
words: "It is most improbable . . . that the heir to the [Austro-Hungarian] throne 
was planning aggression against Italy. He distrusted Italy, however, and saw in her 
the enemy of the future." 


Wachter recommended a joint action of the Central Powers in 
Rome as soon as the report received in Berlin had been verified. 
Emperor William, he said, looked upon the idea with favor. 356 
Aehrenthal was quite ready to take up the suggestion of the Ger- 
man cabinet; he hoped that if Italy were kept occupied in Africa 
she would be diverted from the Adriatic. "I cannot conceal the 
fact," he wrote to Kiderlen- Wachter, "that Italy's activity in 
North Africa suits me for obvious reasons. It must indeed come 
hard to the Italian statesmen to remain virtuous at this particular 
moment, when a new division of clothes or rather of petticoats 
is going on in Africa." 357 He therefore advised his sovereign to 
accept the proposal of the cabinet of Berlin, emphasizing the fact 
that for five years past he had been struggling with might and 
main to preserve cordial relations with Italy, and pointing out 
that since the Central Powers were the stronger, they could take 
the initiative without loss of prestige. 358 

Emperor Francis Joseph was at this time at Ischl. As Merey, 
the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Rome, was also sojourning 
there, the monarch commanded him to give his views on this 
question. Merey declared that the Italian government had never 
mentioned the renewal of the Triple Alliance to him, but that the 
Italian ambassador in Vienna, the Duke of Avarna, had done so 
in March, ign. Herr von Jagow, the German ambassador in 
Rome, had also brought up the subject in June. Both these 
diplomats particularly Jagow had recommended that the 
initiative be assumed by the Central Powers. In a letter to 
Aehrenthal, Merey even expressed the opinion that the recent hint 
dropped by Italy had perhaps originated in Germany; he said he 
had never doubted that Victor Emmanuel and the Italian govern- 
ment would stand by the Triple Alliance, but that he expected 
them to express a desire for the revision of certain treaty stipula- 
tions. For his own part, he would "rather keep the Italians in 
suspense until the last moment"; he recognized, however, the 

866 Kiderlen-Wachter to Aehrenthal, July 31, 1911. 
367 Aehrenthal to Kiderlen-Wachter, August 10, 1911. 

388 Aehrenthal's report to Francis Joseph I, Mendel, August 3, 1911. Original 
and draft. 


validity of the arguments in favor of a quick settlement of af- 
fairs. 359 Emperor Francis Joseph gave his assent to opening nego- 
tiations, 360 after it had been ascertained that the information 
which reached Berlin at the end of July was correct. At the end of 
September just as war was beginning between Turkey and 
Italy 361 the Duke of Avarna notified Vienna that he had 
spoken with the king and his ministers on the occasion of his visit 
to Rome, and was now empowered to express officially the will- 
ingness of the Italian government immediately to renew the 
treaty of the Triple Alliance "in strict secrecy, and without any 
modifications whatsoever." 362 "If the question of Tripolitania," 
he added, "should be solved favorably to Italy, she would, by 
virtue of her complete satisfaction, be a contented, and therefore a 
more dependable member of the Triple Alliance." 363 The guiding 
statesmen of the Central Powers were not inclined to believe this; 
they felt, however, that it was expedient to accede to San Giu- 
liano's request, and gave their assent. 364 It was decided to hold 
the negotiations in Vienna. 365 

An agreement was swiftly reached with regard to certain points. 
The duration of the treaty was again fixed at twelve years, to date 
from July 8, 1914, the date of expiration of the existing agree- 
ment. 366 All were equally agreed that there should be no altera- 
tion of the text; but since a modification of conditions in North 
Africa had come about through the Turco-Italian conflict, the 
proposal was made by Germany, presumably at Italy's instiga- 
tion, that the treaty provisions relating to these regions should be 
adapted to the existing circumstances. The result was to be em- 
bodied in a protocol attached to the new treaty. Aehrenthal had 

369 Me"rey to Aehrenthal, Ischl, August 8, 1911. 

360 Aehrenthal to Kiderlen-Wachter, Mendel, August 10 and 18, September 7 and 
n, 1911. 

361 Cf. C. Sax, Geschichte des Machtverfatts der Tiirkei, 2d ed., pp. 592 ff . 

362 Daily report, September 26, 1911, and private letter of Aehrenthal to Kider- 
len-Wachter, September 27, 1911. 

363 Red Book, p. 201. 

364 Germany's assent was communicated to the Austrian government through a 
telegram from Flotow, dated Berlin, September 27, 1911. 

366 Kiderlen-Wachter to Aehrenthal, September 29, 1911. 
366 Aehrenthal to Kiderlen-Wachter, October 3, 1911. 


no objections to make on principle to Kiderlen-Wachter's pro- 
posals; he informed Rome that he would come to an agreement 
with Germany as soon as possible and transmit the protocol as 
decided upon by both powers to the Italian government. 367 The 
haste shown by Aehrenthal, and even more by Kiderlen-Wachter, 
caused Merey, the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Rome, to 
express his doubts as to the advisability of forcing matters to such 
an extent. He feared that the premature renewal of the Triple 
Alliance would be regarded in Italy as the price exacted by the 
Central Powers for their support of Italian projects in Tripoli- 
tania, and pointed to the bad impression which the agreement 
with Italy was bound to make upon the Turkish government. For 
this reason he recommended postponing the negotiations until a 
more favorable moment. 368 The statesmen of Vienna and Berlin, 
however, adhered to their purpose. 

Kiderlen-Wachter in particular kept pressing for a conclusion; 
he told Szogyeny that the German government was satisfied with 
the renewal of the treaty of the Triple Alliance and the date set for 
its entrance into force July 8, 1914. Since San Giuliano had 
declared his willingness to renew the treaty as it stood, he 
Kiderlen-Wachter believed that Articles VII, IX, and X 
should retain the existing wording; this would prevent the Italian 
government from bringing up the question of alterations. The 
provisions of Article VII were to be interpreted in a supple- 
mentary protocol between Italy and Austria-Hungary; those of 
Articles IX and X would be similarly dealt with in a second sup- 
plementary protocol between Germany and Italy. In the case of 
the latter, emphasis was to be laid on the fact "that the 'status 
quo territorial ' should be regarded as that established by the con- 
clusion of peace between Italy and Turkey." Since it was further 
to be expected that France would extend her protectorate over 
Morocco after the ratification of the Franco- German agreement 
as to that country, 369 special mention was to be made of this cir- 

367 Aehrenthal to Merey, October 20, 1911. 
3s Merey to Aehrenthal, October 27, 1911. 

369 The treaty of November 4, 1911; printed, e. g., in Debidour, Histoire diplo- 
matique de I' Europe, iv, pp. 331 ff. 


cumstance in the supplementary protocol. The decision regarding 
Article VII, Kiderlen-Wachter said, lay with Aehrenthal; Ger- 
many would assent to any wording selected by Austria-Hungary. 
As regards the statement made to him by Aehrenthal, that the 
value of Article VII would be questionable in case Italy "should 
take action in the European waters of the Aegean Sea and proceed 
to an occupation of the coasts or islands of that region without 
our " (Austria-Hungary's) " assent," Kiderlen-Wachter felt em- 
powered to say that no action in the Aegean contrary to Article 
VII was to be feared on the part of Italy. This article, he be- 
lieved, should naturally be retained, because, to a certain extent, 
it gave Austria-Hungary a "better hold" upon Italy. 370 A few 
days later Tschirschky, the German ambassador to the court of 
Vienna, transmitted the German draft of the supplementary pro- 
tocol, according to which the status quo referred to in Articles IX 
and X of the treaty should in future "be based upon the recent 
events in Tripolitania and upon the agreements reached between 
the signatories of this treaty and France with regard to Mo- 
rocco." 371 

Count Aehrenthal found that this wording was not definite 
enough regarding Tripoli. Although this agreement, he said, pri- 
marily concerned only Germany and Italy, Austria-Hungary, as 
a signatory power, would also be assuming the obligation to re- 
spect all Italy's rights as recognized by the treaty. From this 
point of view it appeared necessary to him to replace the indefi- 
nite wording, "sur la base des dernieres evenements en Tripoli- 
taine," by something more precise. He proposed that the status 
quo for Tripolitania and Cyrenaica should be that established by 
the future agreement between Italy and Turkey. 372 As for Article 

370 Szogyeny to Aehrenthal, November 26, 1911. Telegram. 

371 ". . . qu'il est entendu que le statu quo vise" par les articles IX et X du pr6- 
sent traite serait celui fixe sur la base des derniers Evenements en Tripolitaine et des 
arrangements survenus entre les puissances signataires de ce traite" et la France au 
sujet du Maroc." 

372 His version ran as follows: "Qu'il est entendu que le statu quo vise par les 
articles IX and X du present trait6 serait pour la Tripolitaine et la Cyrenaique celui 
qui sera fixe d'apres 1'accord futur entre 1'Italie et la Turquie et pour le Maroc celui 
6tabli par les arrangements survenus entre les puissances signataires de ce traite et la 
France au sujet de ce pays." Aehrenthal to Szogy6ny, December 6, 1911. 


VII, Aehrenthal was resolved to adhere to it in its existing form. 
"The present conflict/' he said, "has shown us that Article VII 
provides us with a weapon against possible Italian activities 
which we cannot give up and which cannot be turned against us; 
for we have no territorial aspirations which might justify Italy in 
demanding compensations.' 7 Only the declaration of June 30, 
1902, regarding Tripoli tania, which had been rendered superflu- 
ous by recent events, would have to be eliminated. 373 

Kiderlen-Wachter gave his assent. It was decided to submit 
Aehrenthal's project to Rome, 374 but at the same time to demand 
the elimination of the first protocol, relating to the commercial 
questions and the relations of the allies to England, since it was no 
longer adapted to the circumstances of the case. 375 Now, however, 
the efforts of the German and Austro-Hungarian statesmen 
quickly and quietly to consummate the renewal of the treaty, as 
Italy had expressly requested, failed to receive the expected sup- 
port of the Italian government. Merey, who was still opposed to 
hasty action, reported as early as the middle of December that 
San Giuliano did not consider it 'expedient' to proceed with the 
renewal of the treaty at this particular moment, when matters in 
Tripoli were so uncertain. He also pointed to the violent attacks 
of the Austro-Hungarian press against Italy's policy, which had 
in turn superinduced a dangerous irritation of Italian public 
opinion, and advised waiting for the restoration of calm before 
taking steps toward the renewal of the Triple Alliance. 376 Once 
more, however, his words of warning made no impression on 
Aehrenthal. 377 

Aehrenthal had at that time just won a hard-fought battle with 
the party which clamored insistently for preparation against Italy 
in view of a possible settling of scores by armed force. "I main- 

373 Aehrenthal to Szogye"ny, December 6, 1911. 

374 Szogye"ny to Aehrenthal, December 8, 1911 (telegram), and Aehrenthal to 
M6rey, December 9, 1911. 

376 Sz6gye"ny to Aehrenthal, December 9, 1911, and Aehrenthal to Szogyeny, 
December n, 1911. 

376 Me"rey to Aehrenthal, December 12, 1911. 

377 Aehrenthal to Szogy6ny, December 15, 1911, and Szogy6ny's reply, December 
16, 1911. 


tain" Conrad von Hotzendorf, leader of this faction, had 
written shortly before "I maintain that Italy, with her polit- 
ical aspirations, her economic prosperity, her ceaseless military 
development, and her great nationalistic schemes, is determined 
to win the Italian territory of the Dual Monarchy, to obtain the 
mastery of the Adriatic, to hinder the development of Austro- 
Hungarian power in the Balkans, and to replace it by her own 
influence, just as she is striving to obtain a position in Tripoli simi- 
lar to that of France in Algeria and Tunis. In her clever pursuit of 
this great purpose, she turns every circumstance to account in 
attaining the particular objective most in evidence at a given 
moment. Her other schernesshe apparently lets wait; but she 
stands ready to go on with them when the first has h^n attain^. 
It is quite in harmony with this plan that Italy, realizing that the 
moment has come for Tripoli, seemingly renounces all other aims, 
and makes every effort to buy the friendly neutrality, or even the 
support, of those poweriTwhich would oppose her inthe pursuit of 
those other purposes. This applies above all to the Dual Mon- 
archy. Austria is now confronted with the urgent question 
whether or not she intends to checkmate Italy's policy, a policy 
directed toward the progressive attainment of far-reaching aims. 
She must decide, in the present instance, whether to take a hostile 
position toward Italy's aspirations in Tripoli, and block them in 
this manner, or to settle accounts with Italy after that state has 
become involved in Tripoli, thus frustrating for a long time to 
come her designs on the Italian territory of the Dual Monarchy, 
her plans for the mastery of the Adriatic, and her activities in the 
Balkans." 378 Regarding the measures which, in his opinion, 
should be taken by Austria-Hungary, Conrad said " that the Dual 
Monarchy should take a position decidedly unfavorable to Italy's 
move in Tripoli, assure for herself a complete freedom of action, 
and, in case Italy opens hostilities in Tripoli, either attack Italy, 
or secure at least equivalent indemnification in some other 

Count Aehrenthal answered this with a decided negative. "We 
are bound to the treaty," he asserted in a memorandum to Francis 
878 Conrad von Hotzendorf to Aehrenthal, September 24, 1911. 


Joseph, "and we must not make a move against Italy in Tripoli. 
These sinister plans against us are not, as a matter of fact, enter- 
tained by the Italians. They wish to prolong the Triple Alliance 
with us until 1920." 379 He then proceeded energetically to defend 
the maintenance of the Dual Monarchy's policy of conciliation, as 
he had often done before. Once more the Emperor let him have 
his way, and Aehrenthal continued to make every effort to hold 
Italy to the Triple Alliance, attempting to eliminate the friction 
which had arisen during the course of the Turco-Italian war 
through the shifting of the scene of action to the heart of Turkey, 
and making no attempt to prevent the Italians from extending 
the contest to the Aegean Sea, although this caused severe losses 
to Austria-Hungary's Levantine trade. And although he de- 
manded suitable compensation for the Dual Monarchy, according 
to the terms of Article VII of the treaty of the Triple Alliance, 
after Italy had occupied the twelve islands (' Dodecanesus ') off the 

Southwestern coast of Asia Minor ; a Tierlflra tiQj^ 

ously made deferring these claims until the close .o 

In Albania, too, where there was the greatest clash of interests 
between the allies, Aehrenthal's conciliatory activity succeeded in 
finding a modus vivendi. It was part of his plan to keep Italy in 
the Triple Alliance by consideration of her susceptibilities and her 
special interests when he announced in Rome, 380a for the sake of 
pacifying San Giuliano, that in case the Triple Alliance was re- 
newed, he should be willing to accede to Italy's wishes and keep 
the fact secret until a definitely specified time. He also consented 
to influence the Austro-Hungarian press in favor of a friendly 
attitude toward Italy provided, of course, that San Giuliano 
took similar measures with the Italian press. 

At the same time he confided to Merey his great displeasure at 
the ambiguous policy of Rome. "The Italian government," he 
wrote on December 19, 1911, "should value more highly the ad- 
vantages which the alliance with us has secured it, and should 

379 Aehrenthal's memorandum to the Emperor, October 22, 1911. 

380 Cf. Diplomatische Aktenstiicke betreffend die Beziehungen Osterreich-Ungarns 
zu Italien, in der Zeit vom 20. Juli 1914 bis 23. Mai 1915 (Red Book of 1915), pp. 
205 ff. 

380a In the middle of December, 1911. 


show its gratitude by abandoning its see-saw policy between the 
Triple Alliance and the powers of the Entente. Since theirnotori- 
ous escapade, the Italians have been countirig-O^ej3iiiicli_Qn the 
indulgence of their allies, and ajtemptinglcLprotect themselves on 
alFsides by all^orts^ofjiaisons. They depend on the Triple Alli- 
ance, and realize that they are protected to the rear; they would 
also like to use the alliance to help them out of their momentary 
embarrassment by means of Austro-Hungarian and German pres- 
sure on Constantinople, and to bait us into exerting such pressure 
by pretending that they will undertake naval operations as a last 
resort. On the other hand, the Italians are afraid of France and 
England; they also feel, and with justice, that an attack on the 
Dardanelles might break up the agreement they reached with 
Russia at Racconigi. From these diverse considerations arises a 
state of mind which makes a clear policy impossible, and which 
calls forth small confidence on the part of Italy's allies. If Italy 
wishes to enjoy still further advantages from the Triple Alliance, 
she must give proof of the fact not only in words, but in the atti- 
tude of her government. The more clearly and coherently she 
expresses this desire, the more intimate and cordial will be our 
relations with her. In a word, she must put an end to this flirting 
in all directions, with its consequent vacillation of Italian policy, 
which awakes distrust in us and has encouraged nationalistic as- 
pirations to lift their heads once more in Italy. Will there be an 
Italian government with sufficient clearness of vision and courage 
of its convictions to do this?" 381 

San Giuliano, however, was not satisfied with the offers made 
by the governments of Berlin and Vienna. At the end of Decem- 
ber, indeed, he expressed his approval of a renewal of the treaty as 
it stood, with a six or twelve year term of validity, beginning on 
the day of expiration of the existing agreement; but he declared 
that he could not regard the present moment as suitable for taking 
this step, owing to the difficulty of preserving secrecy as proposed 
by the Central Powers, and to the territorial changes which might 
still come about as a result of the war. In connection with this 
matter of territorial changes, San Giuliano said that he could not 
381 Aehrenthal to Merey, December 19, 1911. Draft and copy. 


accept the wording of the protocol as proposed by the Central 
Powers, since this wording carried the implication that some other 
solution beside the annexation of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica 
might be possible. It also bound Italy to maintain the existing 
status quo in Morocco a pledge which she had not previously 
assumed. 382 Kiderlen-Wachter, who visited Rome in January, 
1912, declared that he was ready immediately to take Italy's 
wishes into account, and suggested a new version of the supple- 
mentary protocol, according to which the status quo was denned 
as that condition "existing at the moment (July, 1914) when the 
new treaty shall come into effect." 383 In order to calm San Giu- 
liano's fears of a premature announcement of the renewal of the 
Triple Alliance, Kiderlen-Wachter proposed a written agreement 
specifying that the fact of renewal should be given publicity only 
upon the consent of all three powers. 384 The Austro-Hungarian 
government gave its assent to these two concessions; 385 but the 
only result of its complaisance was to bring forth another demand 
from San Giuliano. This demand, made through the German 
government, called for the incorporation in the new treaty of the 
agreement regarding Albania which had been concluded between 
Austria-Hungary and Italy in December, I9O9. 386 

But Count Berchtold, who had taken charge of foreign affairs 
after AehrenthaFs death on February 17, showed no inclination 
to consider San Giuliano's ever-increasing importunities. Espe- 
cially in his first months of office he expressed the opinion that 
Italy's ' questionable' alliance was not worth the price of further 
concessions. He therefore declared that he would not consent 
to any demands which ran contrary to the wishes repeatedly ex- 
pressed by all parties for a renewal of the treaty as it stood. "If 

382 M6rey to Aehrenthal. Telegram of December 23, 1911, and despatches of 
December 25, 1911, and January 2, 1912. 

383 Me"rey to Aehrenthal, January 23, 1912. Telegram. 

384 SzogySny to Aehrenthal, January 23, 1912 (telegram), and daily report of 
February 5, 1912. 

386 Telegram to M6rey, March 14, 1912. The wording of the new version regard- 
ing Tripoli was as follows: "II est entendu que le statu quo vis6 par les articles IX et 
X du present traite" serait pour la Tripolitaine et la Cyr6naique celui existant a la 
date de 1'entr^e en vigueur du traite"." 

384 Szogy6ny's telegram, March 14, 1912. 


once they begin to meddle with the text of the treaty," he re- 
marked to Tschirschky, the German ambassador in Vienna, 
"there will be no end to the negotiations; and we might also be 
tempted to put that text to a closer examination from the point of 
view of our own interests." He went on to say that the Triple 
Alliance undeniably contained provisions which were not advan- 
tageous to Austria-Hungary, and pointed in particular to Article 
II, which bound the Dual Monarchy to participate in a war 
launched by France against Italy without provocation on the part 
of the latter. "For this no visible equivalent is provided," he 
said. He also laid stress on the fact that the wish expressed by 
Italy appeared all the more superfluous because the agreement of 
December 19, 1909, regarding Albania, particularly specified that 
its duration was coterminous with that of the Triple Alliance ; its 
renewal was therefore implied in the renewal of the main treaty. 
Tschirschky observed that the justification for San Giuliano's de- 
mands probably lay in his belief that he could better defend the 
renewal of the Triple Alliance before the Italian Chamber if he 
were able to say that this renewal had not taken place without 
changes, thus implying that he had been able to secure certain ad- 
vantages not provided by the existing stipulations. To this 
Berchtold replied that ' this was only one more reason for preserv- 
ing the existing treaty, since Austria-Hungary obviously had no 
interest in letting it appear that the treaty contained new and 
one-sided alterations made in favor of Italy.' 387 

Berchtold also championed this view to Emperor William while 
the latter was stopping in Vienna on his way to Venice, where a 
meeting of the rulers of Germany and Italy was to take place. In 
his conversation of March 23, 1912, with Berchtold, Emperor 
William declared that every effort must be made to bind Italy as 
closely as possible to the Central Powers. The Turco-Italian war, 
he said, had been the result of a lamentable blunder of Italian 
policy; King Victor Emmanuel would never willingly have taken 
the initiative in annexing Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. 388 On the 

887 Daily report of March 16, and telegram to Merey, March 18, 1912. 
388 This view is also expressed by Jagow in his book Ur sac hen und Ausbruch des 
Weltkrieges (1919), p. 47. 


contrary, he had expressly stated that he would not lend himself 
to this project. He had subsequently been driven into the adven- 
ture by popular enthusiasm, and had not been strong enough to 
resist the current. Now Italy was in the midst of a costly struggle, 
the end of which was not yet in sight. Such a situation could not 
be disadvantageous either to Germany or to Austria-Hungary. 
Italy had got into difficulties in North Africa; this drew her into a 
conflict of interests with France, in the Mediterranean as well as 
on the African continent, which promised to divert her perma- 
nently from the Adriatic. The cooling of Italy'sjrelationsjyith 
France those relationswhicjx for ten year^Barrere^ad used 
every legiUmalelinTil^EgiSmate-xn^ only to see 

his efforts-ome to nothing must inevhaEljr resurTTrTltaly 's 
closer attac^afit^^OjAustriaJTiiTigary and Germany. As a mat- 
ter oflactTVictor Emmanuel had told the German Secretary of 
State that he adhered unreservedly to the Triple Alliance and 
earnestly desired its renewal. 

Berchtold's rejoinder that Italy would be only temporarily 
diverted from the Adriatic by the annexation of Tripolitania ap- 
pears to have been "not altogether to the Emperor's liking." The 
latter did not share Berchtold's doubts, which were based on new 
despatches from Merey, as to Italy's inclination immediately to 
renew the Triple Alliance without alteration. He insisted that 
Italy must be made sure of as quickly and as completely as possi- 
ble. 389 Subsequent events showed, however, that the Austro- 
Hungarian minister had appraised the situation more correctly 
than the German Emperor. At the conference in Venice, indeed, 
Victor Emmanuel emphatically expressed his wish to see the 
Triple Alliance renewed, adding the significant words: "as soon 
as the question of Tripoli is settled and it must find a satis- 
factory solution in the treaty for all tune there can be no 
obstacle to prevent the Triple Alliance from taking firm root 
in the consciousness and the feelings of the great masses of the 
Italian people." 39 

389 Berchtold's notes on his conversation with Emperor William at Schonbrunn, 
March 23, 1912. 

390 M6rey to Berchtold, April 4, 1912. 


Shortly after, however, on April 14, San Giuliano transmitted 
an aide-memoire to Merey declaring that the revision of the sup- 
plementary article, as proposed by the Central Powers, had been 
rendered inexpedient by the decree of annexation of November 5, 
1911, which had become law on February 27, 1912. At that same 
time he proposed a new version, according to which the status 
quo established in Articles IX and X, in so far as it concerned 
Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, should be regarded as that created by 
the royal law of February 27, 1912, extending the sovereignty of 
Italy over these two provinces. 391 Furthermore, San Giuliano de- 
manded of Austria-Hungary the insertion of a supplementary 
protocol in the treaty of the Triple Alliance containing the agree- 
ments respectively concluded in 1901 with regard to Albania, and 
in 1909 with regard to the interpretation of Article VII of the 
Triple Alliance. Merey had no objection to make to the latter 
demand; he held, however, that "as long as Italy's position in 
both provinces was uncertain, from a military, political, and dip- 
lomatic point of view," the former was so impossible of fulfilment 
that it brought up the question whether "it was not intended to 
serve the purpose of deferring the renewal of the Triple Alliance 
until the end of the war, as I have conjectured for months in my 
despatches." 392 However, since he assumed from the instructions 
which had previously reached him that an expeditious renewal of 
the Triple Alliance was desired in Vienna, he forwarded to Berch- 
told a new version of the passage in the supplementary protocol 
relating to Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. This version ran: "it is 
understood that the status quo contemplated by Articles IX and 
X of the treaty of the Triple Alliance as regards Tripoli and Cyre- 
naica shall be that expressly recognized by the cabinets of Berlin, 
Vienna, London, Paris, and St. Petersburg." 393 

391 MSrey's telegram of April 15, and despatch of April 18, 1912. An aide-m6- 
moire is annexed to the latter. The wording of the supplementary protocol regarding 
Tripolitania here runs as follows: "II est entendu que le statu quo vise" par les 
articles 9 et 10 du pr6sent traite" en ce qui concerne la Tripolitaine et la Cyrenaique 
est celui qui a 6te cre"e par la loi du royaume du 27 fevrier 1912 6tendant la souve- 
rainete de 1'Italie sur les deux provinces." 

392 Ibid. 

393 "U est entendu que le statu quo vis6 par les articles 9 et 10 du present traite en 
ce qui concerne la Tripolitaine et la Cyrenaique est celui que les cabinets de Berlin, 


Mercy's draft was rejected in Vienna. Berchtold, who was 
being urged to the utmost complaisance by Germany, was trying 
to find a solution which should take account of Italy's wishes, and 
at the same time enable him to maintain the stand, which he had 
taken on principle, 'that it was not proper to refer in an inter- 
national treaty to a national Italian law in the making of which 
the other contracting parties had taken no part.' For this reason 
the project evolved by him, with the assent of the German gov- 
ernment, provided that "the status quo contemplated in Articles 
IX and X of the treaty of the Triple Alliance shall be, so far as 
Tripolitania and Cyrenaica are concerned, that created by the 
fact that Italy has extended her sovereignty over these two prov- 
inces." 394 Berchtold had Turkey in mind when he stipulated 
that this concession should be made conditional on the preserva- 
tion of the strictest secrecy. 395 As for Italy's wish to add to the 
treaty a supplementary protocol containing the two agreements 
of 1901 and 1909, he definitely refused this, "because it runs 
counter to the idea of renewing the treaty without change, which 
has been approved by all concerned; because, in view of Italy's 
activities in the present war, it does not seem suitable for us to 
limit our freedom of action in Albania by treaty for a number of 
years; and, finally, because the convention regarding the sanjak 
stands in organic connection with the treaty of the Triple Alliance, 
since, according to its wording, it will likewise be implicitly re- 
newed upon the prolongation of the Triple Alliance." 396 

Berchtold's refusal to meet San Giuliano's wishes in this matter 
was less unacceptable to the Italians, who were not sorry to have 
the renewal of the Triple Alliance delayed, than in Berlin, where 
the greatest importance was laid on securing Italy's accession as 
speedily as possible. 397 Since the beginning of April the German 

de Vienne, de Londres, de Paris, et de St. Petersbourg auront expressement re- 

394 "II est entendu que le statu quo vise par les articles IX et X du present trait6 
est en ce qui concerne la Tripolitaine et la CyrSnaique celui cr66 par le fait que 
Tltalie a Stendu sa souverainete" sur ces deux provinces." 

396 Instruction of May 22, 1912. 
39 Ibid. 

397 In his Politische Vorgeschichte des grossen Krieges, p. 81, Reventlow gives the 
new situation in the Mediterranean as Germany's reason for pressing for a prema- 


statesmen, in accordance with a promise given the king of Italy 
at Venice by Emperor William, had been exerting pressure on the 
Austro-Hungarian government to secure a revocation of the pro- 
test made by Aehrenthal, in the winter of 191 1, 898 against the 
naval demonstration planned by the Italians against Turkey. 399 
When Berchtold firmly refused tomeet 

brought foTAv^r4-Jiie--4ir^eirt-^ecs_sitv of hokling Italy to the 
Triple Alliance. 

"If there should some day be a war with France," Kiderlen- 
Wachter said, " Austria-Hungary must have no worries regarding 
her southwestern frontier. She will invade Serbia and array the 
bulk of her troops against Russia. Germany will likewise march 
against Russia with a portion of her fighting forces; her main army, 
however, will fall upon France with its full strength. I do not now 
believe that Italy will simply tear up the treaty of the Triple Alli- 

ture renewal of the Triple Alliance. There was also the consideration "that Italy, 
puffed up by her success, would clamor for war against Austria-Hungary. Such a 
war would also, in a measure, be forced on Italy if several more years were to pass 
before the normal period of renewal of the treaty of the Triple Alliance and the in- 
fluences hostile to the Triple Alliance in and out of Italy were to have time to do 
their work." 

398 The two instructions from Aehrenthal, to M6rey and Szogy6ny respectively, 
are printed hi the Red Book, pp. 203 f . 

399 Berchtold to M6rey, April 6, 13, and 15, 1912. Cf. Red Book, pp. 17 ff. and 
206 f. Bethmann-Hollweg (op. cit., pp. 73 f.) throws light on Germany's efforts to 
prevent the differences between Italy and Austria-Hungary "from becoming a 
serious menace." 

400 The decisive conference between the Duke of Avarna and Berchtold took place 
on April 15. The former laid the greatest stress on the fact that Italy's enterprise 
would involve an island of Turkey in Asia, and not the coasts and islands of Turkey 
in Europe. Berchtold thereupon pointed to Article VII of the treaty of the Triple 
Alliance, which drew no distinction between European and Asiatic islands, but 
referred only in very general terms to "coasts and islands of the Aegean Sea." 
Berchtold to M6rey, April 16, 1912. Shortly after this_Be^ch.told learned that 
Italian war vessels had appe^recTbefore thVentrance ofthe Dardanelles and had 
fired upon the fortifications on the European sboiel^Se instructed M6rey to inform 
the Italian government that since these naYaLactivitiesJiad so far caused no reac- 
tion in the Balkans, and as " there can be no question of a change of the status quo on 
the coasts and islands 5fJhe_Agi3l^>ea," he would make no protests to Italy. He 
was obliged, however, to call San Giuliano's attefrlioii to the facTfnat he was unable 
to recede from the position taken~By"his predecessor (Aehrenthal), and must let 
Italy assume the entire responsibility for the possible consequences of her action. 
Berchtold to M6rey, April 20, 1912. Cf. Frakn6i, pp. 75 f. 


ance; the personality of the king offers security against that. I 
believe, rather, that Italy will slowly mobilize and play the wait- 
ing game, so to speak. If the first decisive battle with France 
should turn out favorably to Germany, Italy will cooperate 
against France. If, however, France should score a great initial 
victory, Italy's attitude toward us might possibly become alarm- 
ing. If we assume an initial victory for the German arms, I con- 
sider it highly probable that Russia, whose mobilization will take 
place very slowly, will inform France that she feels it wiser to de- 
clare her neutrality. When the time for peace arrives, she will 
thus be able to back up her words with an unimpaired military 
strength. It is of the greatest importance that France should de- 
clare war, not Germany. In such an event England, to my think- 
ing, will not participate directly in the war, but will send a fleet to 
Antwerp, her watchword being the preservation of Belgian neu- 
trality, and also possibly land troops there. This would, of course, 
be an impediment to Germany, for her army would consequently 
be exposed on the flank. If the war should turn out unfavorably 
for France, England will observe this sort of neutrality to the 
end." He believed, however, that France would not desire war; 
conditions in the French army and fleet were appalling. He held, 
nevertheless, that it was of the greatest importance to renew the 
Triple Alliance as quickly as possible; and to bring this about it 
would be necessary to give Italy full liberty of military action 
against the Dardanelles. 401 

Count Berchtold's unwillingness to yield this point, together 
with his rejection of some of the stipulations upon which Italy had 
conditioned her assent to the renewal of the Triple Alliance, 
evoked a fresh storm of complaints and entreaties in Berlin. 
Berchtold remained unshaken. He justified his attitude in detail 
in a private letter to Szogyeny. "In Berlin/' he wrote, "this 
drama of the Turco-Italian conflict appears to be regarded only 
from the point of view of the renewal of the Triple Alliance. In 
this they are guided by the fixed idea of Italy's defection to the 
Western Powers, although they point out at the same time that a 

401 private letter of the Austro-Hungarian charg6 d'affaires in Berlin, Count 
Flotow, to Berchtold, April 23, 1912. 


divergence of interests between Italy on one side, and England 
and France on the other, has been brought about by the expedi- 
tion to Tripolitania. By putting forward this latter consideration, 
they hope to make more palatable for us the view held in Berlin 
that Italy will thus be driven to a closer and more sincere connec- 
tion with us, and diverted from the further pursuit of an Austro- 
phobe Adriatic policy. If this view is correct, we may ask 
whether the fear of Italy's desertion of the Triple Alliance at this 
present moment has any logical foundation. This continual allu- 
sion to public opinion in Italy, which would use intimations of our 
opposition to a naval demonstration against the Dardanelles to 
attack the policy of the Triple Alliance, makes one involuntarily 
doubt the practical value of an alliance in which one party seeks 
to set aside its obligations whenever it finds it convenient to do so, 
and the other party is expected to give its approval merely for the 
sake of holding its unreliable partner in the alliance. Germany 
herself appears to have misgivings regarding Italy's pledges, since 
only recently Kiderlen-Wachter, while impressing on our charge 
d'affaires the necessity of giving free scope to Italy's wishes, aired 
the opinion that in the event of a Franco- German war Italy 
might make her final decision only when the outcome of the con- 
flict was decided. In the treaty of the Triple Alliance of 1882 
Italy fared so well that she would probably think twice before 
recklessly jeopardizing these advantages." Berchtold therefore 
denied the necessity of making fresh concessions to the undepend- 
able ally. "From all reports which reach us from Constanti- 
nople," he continued, "it would appear that the occupation of an 
island near the entrance of the Dardanelles even Mitylene 
would be regarded by Bulgaria as a signal to trespass beyond her 
frontiers. And yet in spite of this we are bidden to give Italy carte 
blanche. The occupation of islands farther to the south would 
serve only as the cause of unpleasant, not to say serious, difficul- 
ties between ourselves and Italy with regard to the interpretation 
of Article VII of the Triple Alliance." 402 

Berchtold held that further concessions in the matter of the 
supplementary protocol were as undesirable as in the question of 

402 Berchtold to Szogy6ny, May 8, 1912. Draft and copy. 


the naval demonstration, and firmly persisted in his refusal to 
accept the latest Italian demands. The negotiations were de- 
ferred. The Turco-Italian war proceeded on its course. Italy did 
not succeed in the conquest of Tripolitania; her victories by land 
and sea were insignificant, especially after the Arabs and Turks 
had begun to fight under the leadership of Enver Bey. History 
now repeated itself, however, and an Italian victory was brought 
about by the intervention of other powers. In October, 1912, the 
First Balkan War broke out. The Turks, hard pressed by new 
adversaries, were forced to bow to circumstance and give up 
Tripoli. On October 18, 1912, the peace of Lausanne delivered 
into the hands of the Italians this long and ardently coveted land: 
a success which was due in no small measure to Germany's benev- 
olent neutrality, and to the correct and conciliatory bearing of 
the Austro-Hungarian government. 

It was not gratitude for these services which determined the 
attitude of the Italian statesmen, but cold calculation of their own 
interests: and these unmistakably demanded adherence to the 
policy which had been so profitably pursued in the past. Rela- 
tions with the Triple Entente must continually be made more 
cordial; but first and foremost came the maintenance of the 
Triple Alliance. At the time when the peace of Lausanne was be- 
ing signed, the Slavic peoples of the Balkans were winning their 
first great military victories over the Turks. No one could predict 
how far their successes would lead them. Italy's interests in the 
Adriatic, which had never been lost sight of and which emerged 
from obscurity after the struggle for Tripoli had come to an end, 
could not but be touched in a sensitive spot by the turn of events 
in the Balkans. Nothing had been left undone by the Italian gov- 
ernment to prevent an extension of the Austro-Hungarian sphere 
of influence on the Adriatic, and to make sure by numerous writ- 
ten agreements that the Dual Monarchy would keep its hands off 
Albania. Should Italy then stand calmly by and watch an aggres- 
sive Slavic Balkan state gain a foothold on the Adriatic in place of 
conservative Austria-Hungary? Divergent though the interests 
and plans of the cabinets of Vienna and Rome might be with re- 
gard to the Balkans, they had in common the wish to avert a 


Slavic domination of the Adriatic. The Italian statesmen were 
therefore eager to conclude the renewal of the Triple Alliance for 
a lengthy term of years, and thus make sure of Austria-Hungary's 
assistance in the event that this should be needed to check the 
over-ambitious claims of the Greeks or Serbs. 

A further and no less important consideration lay in the fact 
that~the prolongation of the alliance afforded Italy the one sure 
guaranty that Austria-Hungary, pledged as she was to the pro- 
visions of Article VII, would take no independent steps frustrat- 
ing Italy's plans in the Balkans. Finally, there was one more 
reason determining Italy to accelerate the renewal of the alliance. 
Tripolitania had been promised her by the treaty of Lausanne, but 
as yet only a portion of the country was subdued. No one could 
tell how long it would take her to gain control of the whole terri- 
tory. In view of this, it must have been acceptable to the Italians 
when the Central Powers showed an inclination during the nego- 
tiations of the winter of 1911-1912 to assume a guaranty of the 
status quo in this newly acquired region. In the summer of 1912, 
too, concern was caused in Italy by the considerable strengthen- 
ing of the French Mediterranean fleet. 403 All these factors taken 
together decided San Giuliano in favor of a resumption of the 
negotiations which had been suspended since May, 1912. On the 
occasion of his meeting with Count Berchtold at Pisa and San 
Rossore (October 21-23, I 9 I2 X ne proposed that the matter be 
settled as quickly as possible. 404 At the same time he handed over 
the draft of a supplementary protocol which indicated that the 
Italian government had not only retained all the demands made 
by it in the spring, but had sought to express them in the manner 
best suited to its own interests. For instance, San Giuliano's draft 
contained the stipulation that the two separate agreements con- 

403 Baron Ambr6zy informed Berchtold on September 24, 1912, of the great ex- 
citement caused in Italy by this action of France. "Especially certain circles, which 
(as they pretend) wished to make the renewal of the Triple Alliance conditional 
upon satisfactory guaranties of the preservation of Italy's interests in the Mediter- 
ranean, appear to have gone wild over the fact that France takes this particular 
time to act in a way which makes it impossible for Italy to choose which group of 
powers is to safeguard her position in the Mediterranean." 

404 Baron Ambr6zy to Berchtold, Rome, September 24, 1912. 


eluded between Austria-Hungary and Italy in 1900-01 and 1909, 
with particular reference to Albania, " should be regarded as an 
integral part of the existing treaty." 405 

The situation was a most difficult one for Berchtold. The com- 
plications in the Balkans which seemed to threaten the peace of 
the world; the tension between the courts of Vienna and St. 
Petersburg; Serbia's claims on the Adriatic coast all these 
forced him to treat with the utmost consideration the wishes of 
the Italians, who at that particular moment appeared inclined to 
take joint action with Austria-Hungary in the Balkans. On the 
other hand, however, he wished to avoid everything which might 
arouse further Italian aspirations in the Balkans and particularly 
in Albania. He therefore replied to San Giuliano's declaration 
with the assurance that he realized of what value the Triple Alli- 
ance had been in maintaining the world's peace, and that he was 
ready to assent to its prolongation; but that he was obliged to 
make a stand against the incorporation in the treaty of the two 
separate agreements already alluded to. If this were done, it 
would be no longer a question of the renewal of the treaty as it 
was. Since the Triple Alliance had so far served Italy's interests 
far more than those of Austria-Hungary, he should be obliged to 
demand consideration of the wishes of the Dual Monarchy in the 
event of any alterations in the treaty. San Giuliano contradicted 
this, and an exhaustive debate followed. Both defended their posi- 

406 The wording of this draft is as follows: 

"Au moment de proceder a la signature du trait6 de ce jour entre 1'Italie, 1'Alle- 
magne, et rAutriche-Hongrie, les plenipotentiaires soussigns de ces trois puissances, 
a ce dument autoris6s, se d6clarent mutuellement ce qui suit: 

"II est entendu que le statu quo vise" par les articles 9 et 10 du present traite en ce 
qui concerne la Tripolitaine et la Cyre"nalque est celui qui a et6 cr6e" par la loi du 
royaume du 25 fevrier 1912, e"tendant la souverainet6 de 1'Italie sur ces deux pro- 
vinces et reconnu par les gouvernements d'Allemagne et d'Autriche-Hongrie. 

"Les accords secrets spe"ciaux existant actuellement entre 1'Italie et rAutriche- 
Hongrie et dont communication a et6 donne"e en son temps au gouvernement Alle- 
mand, a savoir: 

" i. L'accord concernant 1'Albanie, consign6 dans 1'echange de notes Visconti- 
Venosta-Goluchowski du 20 de"cembre 1900-9 fevrier 1901; 

" 2. L'accord concernant le sandjak de Novibazar et I'interprdtation de 1'article 
VII du trait6, consign^ dans I'e'change de notes Guicciardini-Aehrenthal 30 novem- 
bre-i5 de"cembre 1909, sont considers comme partie integrante du present trait6." 


tions with equal obstinacy; San Giuliano finally quoted Premier 
Giolitti, "who, as a lawyer, placed the greatest value on the in- 
clusion in one treaty instrument of all agreements existing be- 
tween Austria-Hungary and Italy." 406 The ministers separated 
without having reached any agreement. No more successful were 
the negotiations which took place at the beginning of Novem- 
ber in Vienna and Rome. Berchtold took it upon himself to 
win over the Duke of Avarna; 407 Merey, San Giuliano. 408 Berch- 
told's efforts were quite fruitless; Merey succeeded only in getting 
San Giuliano to admit that he recognized the justice of Berchtold's 
objection to the incorporation of the two separate agreements 
in the treaty. He made no mention, however, of any intention 
to forego his demands. 

Berchtold, who in the meanwhile had been informed from 
Berlin that Kiderlen-Wachter appreciated the objections made by 
him, believed that he could now attain his purpose by exerting 
fresh pressure on the Italian statesmen. On November 8 he tele- 
graphed to Merey that he had no intention of accepting the Ital- 
ian demand for the incorporation of the two agreements in the 
treaty of the Triple Alliance. 409 On the same day, however, a de- 
spatch from Berlin showed that he had made a miscalculation. 
Kiderlen-Wachter, with Szogyeny's cooperation, had conducted 
negotiations with San Giuliano, who had arrived in Berlin on 
November 4, resulting in a complete unanimity of their views on 
all important questions of European policy. The future of Al- 
bania was also discussed in detail, and it was decided that the 
autonomous development of that region would best harmonize 
with the interests of Austria-Hungary and Italy and with the 
agreements existing between the two countries. The chief feature 
of the conference was the renewal of the Triple Alliance, which 
was urgently demanded by public opinion in Germany and 
Austria-Hungary, and which San Giuliano advocated with the 
greatest energy. There still existed the difficulty, however, which 

406 Daily report of October 26, 1912, regarding Berchtold's conversations with 
San Giuliano at Pisa and Florence; also instruction to Szogye"ny, November i, 1912. 

407 Berchtold to Sz6gy6ny, October 30 and November 3, 1912. Telegram. 

408 M6rey to Berchtold, November 5, 1912. 

409 Berchtold to M6rey, November 8, 1912. Telegram. 


had arisen between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian govern- 
ments with regard to the manner of including the agreements of 
1900-01 and 1909 in the new treaty. In order to overcome these, 
Kiderlen-Wachter and San Giuliano drew up a new supplementary 
protocol. In substance, this satisfied Italy's demands; in form, 
Berchtold's wishes. 

It was decided that the territorial status quo in the North 
African regions of the Mediterranean, referred to in Article IX of 
the treaty of the Triple Alliance of June 28, 1902, should include 
the sovereignty of Italy over Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, and that 
in future the status quo existing in the North African territories 
at the time of the signature of the new treaty should serve as a 
basis for the provisions of Article X of the same treaty. Emphasis 
was also laid on the fact that the special agreements concluded in 
1900-01 and 1909 between Austria-Hungary and Italy had under- 
gone no modifications by reason of this renewal of the treaty. Any 
reference to the law of February, 1912, regarding the annexation 
of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica was thus abandoned, together with 
San Giuliano's earlier idea that the two agreements of 1900-01 
and 1909 should be expressly designated as an integral part of the 
treaty of the Triple Alliance. 410 Giolitti immediately gave his ap- 
proval to this new version. Kiderlen-Wachter informed Berch- 
told of this, and urgently recommended him to accept this new 
and (as he thought) unobjectionably worded supplementary pro- 
tocol. His admonition had its effect; Berchtold agreed to the new 
project. The defeats of the Turks and the great danger to Austria- 
Hungary growing out of the advance of the Serbs against Albania 
gave him no alternative. On November 14 he instructed Merey 
to inform San Giuliano that he would lay aside his previous ob- 
jections and assent to the latest version of the supplementary pro- 
tocol, on the condition that as soon as the treaty was signed Italy 
would publicly proclaim the renewal of the Triple Alliance with- 
out change. 411 San Giuliano was quite ready to meet Berchtold's 

410 Szogyeny to Berchtold, November 8, 1912. Telegram. Cf. Bethmann- 
Hollweg, p. 75. See the text in Vol. I, pp. 256, 258. 

411 Berchtold to Merey, November 14, 1912. Telegram. 


wish. He gave a written promise to this effect, 412 and added 
orally that "even later he would allow no intimation to be made 
that any change had taken place in the supplementary proto- 
col." 418 In return for this, the Central Powers were to grant San 
Giuliano's request and reinstate in the new treaty the supple- 
mentary protocol of June 30, 1902, thus modified, and changed 
in form from a declaration by Austria-Hungary alone to a regular 
second final protocol signed by the three powers. 414 The signature 
of the treaty took place at Vienna on December 5, 1912; the rati- 
fications were exchanged on December 19, 1912. The new treaty, 
instead of going immediately into effect, was to await the expira- 
tion of the existing agreement on July 8, 1914. Its term of validity 
was to last until 1920, or, in case it were not denounced one year 
before this, until July 8, 1926. 

412 M6rey to Berchtold, November 20, 1912. Telegram and despatch. The letter 
of San Giuliano to M6rey runs as follows: "En me rapportant a nos derniers entre- 
tiens et apres avoir pris les ordres de S.M. le roi j'ai Thonneur de faire connaltre a 
V.E. que nous sommes prets a proceder a la signature du renouvellement du traite" 
de la Triple Alliance et du protocole additionnel dans la redaction concordee. Nous 
sommes egalement prets a faire publier de notre cote que le traite de la Triple Alli- 
ance a 6t6 renouvele" tel quel sans aucune modification. La date et la forme sous 
lesquelles cette publication aura lieu de la part des trois gouvernements devront 
6tre concert6es ulte"rieurement entre eux." 

413 Mrey to Berchtold, November 20, 1912. 

414 Tschirschky to Berchtold, December 2, 1912. Cf. Vol. I, pp. 232 f., 256-259. 


IT hardly lies within the province of this work to describe the last 
days of the Triple Alliance down to the time of its disruption by 
Italy in May, igi5. 415 The break, when it came, was earlier and 
more complete than had been foreseen by any of the statesmen 
who participated in the renewal of the treaty in December, 1912; 
for it seemed at first that this renewal would be followed by a new 
blossoming of friendly relations between the allies. Italy's diplo- 
matic intercourse with Germany became steadily more friendly. 
While strictly safeguarding Italy's special interests, San Giuliano 
was able not only to preserve correct relations with Austria- 
Hungary, but also to provide a basis for common action in im- 
portant political questions. During the Balkan troubles which 
filled 1913, he repeatedly joined Berchtold in defending, before the 
council of great European powers, the policy of checking the ad- 
vance of the Slavic peoples toward the Adriatic, and won many a 
success which was to the advantage of the Dual Monarchy as well. 
Italy participated with great zeal in the military measures 
which were designed to ward off a possible aggressive move on the 
part of the Triple Entente. The Italian General Staff had, it is 
true, informed the German and Austro-Hungarian governments, 
toward the end of 1912, that in view of the existing political situa- 
tion Italy could not fulfil the agreements previously made with 
Germany, and that the third Italian army could not serve as the 
left wing of the German army and engage France beyond the 
Rhine. 416 However, as Berlin was promised at the same time that 

** Cf. Frakn6i, pp. 86 ff.; Doerkes-Boppard, pp. 45 ff. 

416 By order of the General Staff of the Italian army, the following communica- 
tion was transmitted in Vienna on December 18, 1912, by the Italian military at- 
tache", Major A. Albricci: "Par loyaute" d'allie" on fait connaitre, que jusqu'a nouvelle 
decision on est oblig6 de supprimer 1'envoi de la 3^me arm6e italienne sur le Rhin, 
parceque 1'Italie dans les conditions actuelles ne pourrait se priver de telle partie des 
forces. L'e"tat major I. et R. pourrait cependant, le cas ch6ant, disposer de ses 
lignes de chemin de fer et du materiel qui seraient actuellement destines aux trans- 
ports italiens." According to the information supplied by the Chief of the German 



in the interest of her allies Italy's entire fighting force would be 
disposed south of the Alps along the coast, no great importance 
was attached, at least by the Germans, 417 to Italy's withdrawal 
from her obligations; in fact, new agreements were concluded 
in the course of 1913 regarding the employment of the land 
forces in case of war. 418 At the same time a new agreement pro- 
viding for the disposition of the naval forces of the allies was 
reached as the result of the naval conventions 419 concluded be- 
tween France and Russia, in July, and between France and Eng- 
land in the autumn of 1912. The three fleets were no longer to 
operate separately, as stipulated by the naval convention of De- 
cember, 1900, but were to take joint action, in order to attain as 
expeditiously as possible their goal, the naval supremacy of the 
Mediterranean. The protection of the Adriatic and the preven- 
tion of the transport of French colonial troops from Africa to 
Europe were also provided for in the convention. 420 

In spite of all these agreements, in spite of San Giuliano's con- 
stantly repeated assurances that the Triple Alliance must remain 
the corner stone of Italian foreign policy, the fact could not long 

Admiralty Staff, Vice-Admiral von Heeringen, to the Austro-Hungarian naval at- 
tache at Berlin, Count Colloredo-Mannsfeld (despatch dated Berlin, January n, 
1913), the communication made to Berlin stated that the Italian General Staff had 
renounced its original plan of taking a portion of the Italian army over the Brenner 
Pass into South Germany in the event of a joint war, and employing it against 
France as the left wing of the German army. Its intention now was to dispose the 
entire Italian army south of the Alps along the coast. 

417 In Austria-Hungary this declaration was characterized by the opponents of 
Italy as fresh proof of her faithlessness. On December 19 Conrad wrote to Berch- 
told that he was transmitting Albricci's communication, "which permits me to de- 
clare with satisfaction that I was not deceived in my appraisal of Italy's friendship. 
I can only regret that we did not come to a reckoning with this unreliable neighbor 
years ago, as I repeatedly pointed out the necessity of doing." 

418 Documents in the State Archives. 

419 The text of the Franco-Russian naval agreement of July 16, 1912, appears, 
among others, in DeutsMand Schuldig?, the German White Book regarding the re- 
sponsibility of the authors of the war (1919), p. 145. For the Anglo-French agree- 
ments, see E. von Reventlow, Politische Vorgeschichte des grossen Krieges (1919), pp. 
265 ff.; Helfferich, op. cit., i, pp. 23 ff. 

420 The agreement received legal force on November i, after having been pre- 
pared in draft on June 23 and completed on August 2. Cf . the text, Vol. I, pp. 282- 
305. The conclusion was reached only after long negotiations, regarding which there 
is abundant material in the State Archives. 


be kept hidden that the Triple Alliance was never again to acquire 
its old-time power. "The obligations assumed by Rome were too 
numerous," declared Bethmann-Hollweg after the break had 
come. "All sorts of ties bound Italy not only to the Western 
Powers, but to Russia as well." 421 

I So it happened that in spite of San Giuliano 's efforts and the 
accommodating spirit of the cabinet of Vienna, the insurmount- 
able divergence of interests existing between the two powers in all 
Balkan matters kept asserting itself and blighting every attempt 
at conciliation. Italy kept company with the Dual Monarchy as 
long as it was a question of checking the Slavic onrush to the 
Adriatic; but whenever the Austro-Hungarian statesmen made a 
move meant to enlarge the sphere of influence of their country 
in the Balkans, the Italian government opposed them most ener- 
getically and frustrated their plans. This was the case in the 
spring of 1913, when Berchtold announced the intention of using 
armed force, if necessary, to compel the evacuation of Scutari. 
This city had been occupied on April 23 by the Montenegrin 
troops of King Nikita, who refused to hand it over to Albania, 
constituted a state by the Conference of London. San Giuliano 
immediately protested against any independent action of the 
cabinet of Vienna, on the ground that this would be contrary to 
Article VII of the treaty of the Triple Alliance, while Tittoni, the 
Italian ambassador in Paris, declared that the Triple Alliance 
would cease to exist on the day when Austria-Hungary took it 
upon herself to disturb the balance of power in the Adriatic in any 
manner whatsoever. 422 At the beginning of July, i9i3, 423 this con- 
viction was repeated by San Giuliano in a still more pointed form, 
when Berchtold, realizing the perils that threatened Bulgaria 

421 Bethmann-Hollweg, Betrachtungen zum Weltkriege, i, pp. 75 f. 

422 Cf. Frakn6i, pp. 97 ff.; Doerkes-Boppard, pp. 22 f. 

423 In a speech before the Chamber in December, 1914, Giolitti read the telegrams 
exchanged between him and San Giuliano in this matter, and designated August 9 as 
the day on which this took place. This, however, is an error. The telegraphic ex- 
change of views between Premier Giolitti and San Giuliano, Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, took place on July 9. (M6rey's despatch of July 12, 1913.) Cf. Frakn6i, pp. 
104 ff.; Reventlow, pp. 277 ff. Since both authors assume that Berchtold first 
planned the move against Serbia at the beginning of August, their inferences stand 
in need of correction. 


from the combined armies of Serbia, Greece, and Rumania, an- 
nounced in Rome and in Berlin that Austria-Hungary could not 
witness any further large territorial acquisitions by Serbia with 
composure, " since this would not only imply a considerable moral 
and material strengthening of a neighbor which has been tradi- 
tionally hostile towards us, but would also necessarily result in 
encouraging to no small degree the idea of a Greater Serbia and its 
propaganda." 424 San Giuliano protested energetically against 
this imperilling of the peace of the world by the Austrian gov- 
ernment. This was all the less justified, he declared, "because 
there is no question of any imminent peril certainly not of 
any serious threat against the existence of the Dual Mon- 
archy but rather of fancied future dangers which can easily 
be averted by other means than by war." 425 "On vous reti- 
endra," he said to Merey, "par les pans de votre redingote, si 
c'est necessaire." 426 

At that time a breach was avoided. Germany seemed inclined 
to back up Italy, and Berchtold beat a retreat. Serbia was thus 
enabled by the peace of Bucharest to add materially to her posses- 
sions in Macedonia. Austria-Hungary waited in vain for Italy to 
make some returns for her compliance. San Giuliano, it is true, 
supported Berchtold when, in the autumn of 1913, he demanded 
that the Serbs evacuate the Albanian territory occupied by them 
in violation of the agreements of London; but this was simply be- 
cause Italy's special interests called for a checkmate of Serbia's 

424 Berchtold to Me"rey (in Rome) and to Sz6gye"ny (in Berlin), July 4, 1913. 

426 Me"rey to Berchtold, July 12, 1913. Merey reported that in a conversation 
with San Giuliano, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs had alluded to his impres- 
sions of the meeting of the sovereigns of Italy and Germany at Kiel early in July, 
1913, and to a visit which he had received shortly before from the Rumanian am- 
bassador, and had then stated "that we (Austria-Hungary) would alienate ourselves 
from our two other allies, Germany and Rumania, by the attitude we had taken." 
(Berchtold noted here, "Rumania has staked her existence on the possibility of a 
European conflagration.") "Both, indeed, are pursuing a policy diametrically op- 
posed to ours namely, the weakening of Bulgaria and no hostility in any event 
toward Serbia." (Berchtold noted here, "This was not formerly the German 
policy.") "Is it possible that these states will reverse this policy for our sake, and, 
in addition, bring upon themselves a European conflagration?" (Berchtold noted 
here, "But we are expected to do so for the sake of Germany and Rumania.") 

426 Ibid. Berchtold noted here, "Tschirschky declares the contrary." 


schemes. 427 Germany, acting as intermediary, also succeeded in 
obtaining Italy's assent to the choice of Prince William of Wied as 
prince of Albania. The divergence of Austro-Hungarian and 
Italian interests in Albania, however, kept cropping out again and 
again, undermining the understanding laboriously built up in 1912 
and 1913 between the two Adriatic powers. Although San Giu- 
liano 428 told Berchtold at Abbazia that ' every Italian statesman 
acknowledged the justice of the idea of an independent Albania, 
and would give it his support,' and although he again expressed 
his belief that without the aid of Austria-Hungary, Italy would 
he overwhelmed by the onrushing Slavic tide, the attitude of the 
Italian press and the Italian agents, especially during the second 
Albanian revolt, which began in May, 1914, showed how little 
control San Giuliano exercised over public opinion in his country. 
While he was again presenting to the Chamber on May 26, I9i4, 429 
a comprehensive programme of conciliation based on the principle 
of an independent Albania under the Prince of Wied, Italy's diplo- 
matic representatives in Albania were doing everything in their 
power to undermine the power of the new ruler, and the Italian 
press was assuming a progressively harsher attitude toward 
Austria-Hungary's Albanian policy. 

It was the Serbian question, however, and not that of Albania, 
which decided the fate of the Triple Alliance. On June 28, 1914, a 
few days before the new treaty of the Triple Alliance was to go into 
force, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hun- 
garian throne, was murdered by conspirators of Serbian national- 
ity. The difficulties arising between Austria-Hungary and Serbia 
as the result of this deed led several weeks later to the hostilities 
which brought the World War in their train. Of no avail were the 
efforts of the Central Powers to induce Italy, as an ally, to join 
them in the conflict. The Italian statesmen asserted that the 
casus foederis provided for in the treaty had not been established. 
They promised benevolent neutrality toward their allies, indeed, 

427 Frakn6i, p. 109. 

428 Berchtold's notes on his conversations with San Giuliano at Abbazia, April 14 
to 18, 1914. 

429 Hashagen, Umrisse der Weltpolitik, ii, p. 131. 


but at the same time they put forward claims to the compensation 
which, they asserted, was due them in accordance with Article 
VII of the treaty. After a prolonged resistance Count Berchtold 
yielded to German pressure and accepted in principle the justice 
of these claims. The negotiations begun forthwith led, however, 
to no result, since the Italian demands became greater with the 
failure of the expected decisive victories of the Central Powers to 
materialize. Toward the end of 1914 they were extended by 
Sonnino, the new Italian Foreign Minister, to include portions of 
old Austrian territory. The statesmen of Austria-Hungary, yield- 
ing step by step to Italian pressure and urged by Germany to 
make the greatest possible concessions, reluctantly acceded in 
principle to these demands. All to no purpose. Italy raised her 
price from month to month, until it had reached a height tran- 
scending all measure. At the same time she was continuing ex- 
tensive negotiations with the Triple Entente, and preparing for 
battle against her allies. By the end of April, 1915, she had con- 
cluded binding agreements with the adversaries of the Central 
Powers. Soon after this, on May 4, Sonnino informed Vienna 
that he was forced to give up hope of coming to an agreement 
with Austria-Hungary, although the Dual Monarchy had pro- 
claimed its willingness to make new and far-reaching concessions. 
Italy then declared the existing alliance void, and reserved for 
herself all freedom of action in the future. On May 20, thirty- 
three years to a day after the signature of the first treaty of the 
Triple Alliance, the Italian Chamber gave its sanction to the 
action of the government and empowered the Salandra-Sonnino 
cabinet to proceed as it thought best. Three days later Victor 
Emmanuel III declared war on Austria-Hungary, and Italy 
openly ranged herself with the enemies of the Central Powers, a 
step for which she had been preparing for many years. 

Without decisive victories in the field, Italy brought the war to 
a conclusion satisfactory to herself. By authority of the victors 
she has been promised not only the ' unredeemed provinces/ but 
also large districts inhabited almost exclusively by Germans, and 
great territories with an overwhelmingly Slavic population. 
Austria-Hungary, her old rival in the contest for mastery of the 


Adriatic, no longer exists as a national entity. But the danger of 
French domination hi the Mediterranean, through fear of which 
Italy had allied herself with the Central Powers, exists as much 
today as ever before; and in place of Austria-Hungary, weakened 
as she was by grave internal difficulties and incapable of an ener- 
getic policy of action, the Slavic peoples have secured a firm foot- 
hold on the Adriatic, and are showing a determination to continue 
the struggle for the mastery of this sea with all their power. 

One can not deny that the men who guided Italian foreign 
policy during the generation which has passed since the conclu- 
sion of the first treaty of the Triple Alliance proved themselves 
to be clever diplomats. Whether they were far-seeing statesmen, 
whether they secured lasting advantages for their country, only 
the future can disclose. 




IN September, 1872, on the occasion of the meeting at Berlin of the 
German, Russian, and Austrian emperors, accompanied by their 
foreign ministers, questions of policy were confidentially dis- 
cussed. No written agreements were entered into; but a general 
understanding was reached, and an informal league of the Three 
Emperors was concluded, a league which may be regarded as the 
precursor of the secret formal one created by the treaty of iSSi. 1 
These oral agreements of 1872 were supplemented in the following 
year by two written ones. In May, 1873, during a return visit to 
St. Petersburg, a convention was signed by Emperor William I 
with Tsar Alexander II. This, however, Bismarck later refused to 
regard as binding because it was not countersigned by himself. 2 
Soon afterwards, during a stay of Alexander II in Vienna, a con- 
vention was signed at the palace of Schonbrunn between Austria 
and Russia, which may be regarded as the complement of the 
German-Russian one. It was, indeed, even more noteworthy, 
because Austria and Russia had aspirations and interests difficult 
to reconcile with one another, whereas Germany had no questions 
pending with either. This convention of Schonbrunn, whose 
terms are now first published, was conservative in its nature, 
and did not look forward to changes in the political map of 
Europe. It was intended to avert possible difficulties between the 
two empires, and it succeeded in doing so during the next three 
years. Even in the early days of a new crisis in the Eastern Ques- 
tion Russia and Austria worked together. Both subscribed to the 
Andrassy note of January, 1876, and the memorandum of Berlin 
of May, 1876, demanding reforms on the part of the Turks; but as 
the situation became more acute, and hostilities spread in the 

1 For the text of the treaty, see Vol. I, p. 36. 

2 The general purport of this convention has long been known, but the exact 
terms have not yet been published. 



Balkan Peninsula, the need was felt of a further understanding. 
This was reached at a brief meeting between Francis Joseph and 
Alexander and their foreign ministers at Reichstadt in Bohemia, 
and the result was noted down in a memorandum by Andrassy. 
By this new agreement, whose text we at last have, Russia gave 
her provisional assent to the Austrian occupation of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina. In return Austria assented to the recovery by 
Russia of the part of Bessarabia of which she had been deprived 
after the Crimean war. 

But the agreement of Reichstadt was not explicit and compre- 
hensive enough to meet the necessities of a difficult and changing 
situation. As the months passed and as the probability of war 
between Russia and Turkey increased, the relations between 
Russia and Austria became strained. Convinced that they could 



Agreement between the Emperor-King of Austria-Hungary 
and the Emperor of Russia. 

S.M. Pempereur d'Autriche et roi de Hongrie et S. M. Tempeur 
[sic] de toutes les Russies: desirant donner une forme pratique a 
la pensee qui preside a leur entente intime, dans le but de conso- 
lider Fetat de paix qui existe actuellement en Europe, et ayant a 
coeur d'eloigner les chances de guerre qui pourraient la troubler, 
- convaincus que ce but ne saurait etre mieux atteint que par 
une entente directe et personnelle entre les souverains, entente 
independante des changemens qui pourraient se faire dans leurs 
administrations, sont tombes d'accord sur les points suivans: 

i. L. L. M. M. se promettent mutuellement, lors meme que 
les interets de leurs etats presenteraient quelques divergences a 
propos de questions speciales, de se concerter afin que ces diver- 
gences ne puissent pas prevaloir sur les considerations d'un ordre 
plus eleve qui les preoccupent. L. L. M. M. sont decides a em- 
pecher qu'on ne puisse reussir a les separer sur le terrain des prin- 
cipes qu'elles considerent comme seuls capables d'assurer et s'il le 


not safely advance against the Turks without first assuring their 
flank and rear against Austrian hostility, the Russians, after turn- 
ing in vain to Bismarck for support or even for an assurance of 
neutrality, saw themselves obliged to come to specific terms with 
Austria before they could proceed against the Turks. These were 
reached after some negotiation; and the results were set down in 
two conventions, concluded, the one in January, the other in 
March, 1877, but fused together into one document and given the 
earlier date. It was with this treaty in her pocket that Russia went 
to war against the Turks; it was this that Austria accused her 
of violating by the Peace of San Stefano; and it was this that pre- 
vented her at the Congress of Berlin from objecting to the grant- 
ing of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria, little as she liked it. 

A. C. C. 



Agreement between the Emperor-King of Austria-Hungary 
and the Emperor of Russia. 

His Majesty the Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary and 
His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias: desiring to give a 
practical form to the thought which presides over their intimate 
understanding, with the object of consolidating the state of peace 
which exists at present in Europe, and having at heart to reduce 
the chances of war which might disturb it convinced that this 
object could not better be attained than by a direct and personal 
understanding between the Sovereigns, an understanding inde- 
pendent of the changes which might be made in their administra- 
tions, have come into agreement upon the following points: 

i. Their Majesties mutually promise, even though the inter- 
ests of their States should present some divergences respecting 
special questions, to take counsel together in order that these 
divergences may not be able to prevail over the considerations of 
a higher order which preoccupy them. Their Majesties are deter- 
mined to prevent any one from succeeding in separating them in 
the field of the principles which they regard as alone capable of 


faut d'imposer le maintien de la paix de 1'Europe centre tous les 
bouleversemens de quelque cote qu'ils viennent. 

2. Pour le cas ou une agression venant d'une puissance tierce 
menacerait de compromettre la paix Europeenne L. L. M. M. 
s'engagent mutuellement a s'entendre d'abord entr'elles sans 
rechercher ni contracter de nouvelles alliances, afin de convenir de 
la ligne de conduite a suivre en commun. 

3. Si a la suite de cette entente une action militaire devenait 
necessaire, elle serait reglee par une convention speciale a con- 
clure entre L. L. M. M. 

4. Si Tune des hautes parties contractantes, voulant reprendre 
son independance d'action, desirait denoncer le present acte, elle 
serait tenue de le faire deux ans d'avance, afin de donner a 1'autre 
partie le temps de prendre les arrangemens qui seraient dans ses 

Schonbrunn, le 25 Mai 1873. 

6 Juin 
Francois Joseph. Alexandre. 


Accession of the Emperor of Germany. 
[The whole text of the Agreement preceding} 
S. M. 1'empereur d'Allemagne ay ant pris connaissance de 1'en- 
tente ci-dessus, redigee et signee a Schonbrunn par L. L. M. M. 
1'empereur d'Autriche et roi de Hongrie et 1'empereur de toutes les 
Russies, et trouvant le contenu conforme a la pensee qui a preside 
a Pentente signee a St. Petersbourg entre L. L. M. M. 1'empereur 
Guillaume et Tempereur Alexandre, accede en tout aux stipula- 
tions qui s'y trouvent consignees. 

L. L. M. M. 1'empereur et roi Francois Joseph et 1'empereur et 
roi Guillaume en approvant et en signant cet acte d'accession, le 
porteront a la connaissance de S. M. 1'empereur Alexandre. 
Schoenbrunn, le 22 Octobre 1873. 
Francois Joseph. Guillaume. 


assuring, and, if necessary, of imposing the maintenance of the 
peace of Europe against all subversions, from whatsoever quarter 
they may come. 

2. In case an aggression coming from a third Power should 
threaten to compromise the peace of Europe, Their Majesties 
mutually engage to come to a preliminary understanding between 
themselves, without seeking or contracting new alliances, in order 
to agree as to the line of conduct to be followed in common. 

3. If, as a result of this understanding, a military action should 
become necessary, it would be governed by a special convention 
to be concluded between Their Majesties. 

4. If one of the High Contracting Parties, wishing to recover 
its independence of action, should desire to denounce the present 
Agreement, it must do so two years in advance, in order to give 
the other Party time to make whatever arrangements may be 

Schonbrunn, May 25 1873. 

June 6 
Francis Joseph. Alexander. 


Accession of the Emperor of Germany. 
[The whole text of the Agreement preceding} 

His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, having taken cogni- 
zance of the above understanding, drawn up and signed at Schon- 
brunn by Their Majesties the Emperor of Austria and King of 
Hungary and the Emperor of All the Russias, and finding the 
contents in conformity with the thought which has presided over 
the understanding signed at St. Petersburg between Their Majes- 
ties the Emperor William and the Emperor Alexander, accedes in 
every respect to the stipulations which are set forth therein. 

Their Majesties the Emperor and King Francis Joseph and the 
Emperor and King William, in approving and in signing this Act 
of Accession, will bring it to the knowledge of His Majesty the 
Emperor Alexander. 

Schonbrunn, October 22, 1873. 
Francis Joseph. William. 


DU 8 JUILLET i876. 3 

On a raisonne dans deux hypotheses: celle ou les Turcs sorti- 
raient victorieux de la lutte et celle ou ils seraient vaincus. 

Dans le premier cas Ton est convenu de ne pas les laisser aller au 
dela de certaines garanties qui ne seraient pas exagerees. On 
s'efforcerait d'empecher que la guerre ne devienne une lutte d'ex- 
termination; on maintiendrait la Serbie et le Montenegro dans 
les circonscriptions territoriales que ces deux principautes ont ac- 
tuellement et Ton s'opposerait a 1'idee d'un retablissement des 
forteresses turques en Serbie. 

On ne reconnait pas a cette derniere le caractere d'un etat inde- 
pendant; mais on est tombe d 'accord de le reconnaitre au Mon- 
tenegro quelle que fut interpretation que d'autres puissances 
voudraient donner a la position politique de la Montagne Noire. 
Par suite de cette independance, le gouvernement austro-hongrois 
s'est declare pret a fermer les deux ports de Klek et de Cattaro a 
toute importation d'armes et de munitions pour les parties ad- 
verses, bien qu'il prevoie de la part du gouvernement turc, de tres 
graves objections a la fermeture du premier de ces ports. 

Pour ce qui est des insurges, Ton est convenu, toujours dans le 
cas d'une victoire des Turcs, de faire des efforts communs pour 
leur garantir les libertes et les ref ormes qui ont ete demandees a la 
Porte et promises par elle. 

Dans toutes les eventualites susmentionnees il ne serait pas 
question d'un remaniement territorial quelconque, ni d'un cote ni 
de 1'autre. 

En passant a la seconde hypothese, celle d'une defaite des 
Turcs, void les idees sur lesquelles on est tombe d'accord: 

L'Autriche-Hongrie ayant declare ne pouvoir admettre que la 
Serbie occupe et garde par droit de conquete 1'enclave comprise 
entre la Dalmatie, la Croatie, et la Slavonie, attendu que cela 
impliquerait un danger pour les provinces de la monarchic, sur- 

3 The following remark by Andrassy in his own hand: "Niedergeschrieben gleich 
nach Reichstadt nach meiner DictSe durch Nowikoff und dem russischen Cabinet 
mitgetheilt." ("Written down immediately after Reichstadt by Nowikoff at my 
dictation and communicated to the Russian Cabinet.") 


OF JULY 8, i876. 3 

The reasoning has been on two hypotheses: That of the Turks 
coming out of the struggle victorious and that of their being 

In the event of the first, it was agreed not to let them obtain 
more than certain guaranties, which should not be excessive. 
Efforts were to be made to prevent the war from becoming a 
struggle for extermination; Serbia and Montenegro were to be 
maintained in the territorial limits which now circumscribe these 
two principalities, and the idea of a reestablishment of the Turk- 
ish fortresses in Serbia was to be opposed. 

In the case of Serbia, the character of an independent state was 
not to be recognized; but agreement was reached to recognize it in 
the case of Montenegro, whatever might be the interpretation 
which other Powers might wish to give to the political position of 
the Black Mountain. As a consequence of this independence, the 
Austro-Hungarian Government has declared itself ready to close 
the two ports of Klek and of Cattaro to all importation of arms 
and of munitions for the opposing parties; although it foresees 
very grave objections on the part of the Turkish Government to 
the closing of the first of these ports. 

Concerning the insurgents, it was agreed (always in the event of 
the victory of the Turks) to make common efforts to guarantee to 
them the liberties and the reforms which have been requested of 
the Porte and promised by it. 

In all the eventualities abovementioned, there was to be no 
question of any territorial modification, either on one side or on 
the other. 

In passing to the second hypothesis, that of a defeat of the 
Turks, the following are the ideas on which agreement was 
reached : 

Austria-Hungary having declared that she can not permit that 
Serbia occupy and keep by right of conquest the enclave com- 
prised between Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia, as this would 
mean a danger to the provinces of the Monarchy, especially to its 


tout pour son littoral dalmate lequel, s'etendant comme un mince 
ruban, devrait evidemment ou etre annexe a la nouvelle Serbie ou 
placer le gouvernement I. et R. dans la necessite de s'annexer la 
Serbie meme, ce qui est exclu du programme; Ton est convenu que 
la Serbie obtiendrait une extension de territoire du cote de la 
Drina en Bosnie, en meme terns que du cote de Novi-Bazar dans 
Pancienne Serbie et dans la direction du Lim. De son c6te le 
Montenegro serait arrondi par 1'annexion d'une partie de 1'Her- 
zegovine adjacente; il obtiendrait le port de Spizza ainsi qu'un 
agrandissement du cote du Lim, de maniere a ce que la langue de 
terre, qui s'etend aujourd'hui entre la Serbie et le Montenegro fut 
partagee entre les deux principautes par le cours de ce fleuve. 

Le reste de la Bosnie et de FHerzegovine serait annexe a 
rAutriche-Hongrie. La Russie reprendrait ses frontieres natu- 
relles d'avant 1856 et pourrait s'arrondir du c6te de la Mer Noir 
et dans la Turquie d'Asie autant que cela serait necessaire pour 
lui constituer de meilleures frontieres dans cette direction et pour 
servir d'equivalent a la partie du territoire a etre annexe a rAu- 

La Bulgarie, la Roumelie et PAlbanie pourraient former des 
etats autonomes. La Thessalie, Pile de Crete devraient etre an- 
nexees a la Grece. 

Constantinople avec une banlieue a determiner, deviendrait 
ville libre. 

L'on est egalement convenu que toutes ces idees seraient gar- 
dees secretes entre les deux empereurs et leurs ministres respec- 
tifs: qu'elles ne seraient pas communiquees aux autres puissances 
et plus specialement encore aux Serbes et Montenegrins jusqu'a ce 
que le moment de leur realisation soit arrive. 4 


S.M. Tempereur d'Autriche etc. et roi apostolique de Hongrie 
et S.M. 1'empereur de Russie, considerant que dans le cours des 

4 With the above there is also a " Note by Prince Gorchakov concerning the meet- 
ing at Reichstadt": "Les deux empereurs se sont separ6s dans le meilleur accord, 
d6cid6s a prockmer le principe de la non-intervention dans le moment actuel. Us 
se reservent une entente ult6rieure avec les grandes puissances chr6tiennes, si les 


Dalmatian littoral, which, extending like a thin ribbon, would 
evidently have to be annexed to the new Serbia or else place the 
Imperial and Royal Government under the necessity of annexing 
Serbia herself, which is excluded from the programme; it was 
agreed that Serbia should obtain an extension of territory in the 
Drina region in Bosnia, at the same time as in that of Novi- 
Bazar in Old Serbia and in the direction of the Lim. On her side 
Montenegro should be rounded out by the annexation of a part of 
Herzegovina adjoining her territories; she should obtain the port 
of Spizza as well as an aggrandizement in the region of the Lim, in 
such a way that the tongue of land which now stretches between 
Serbia and Montenegro should be divided between the two prin- 
cipalities by the course of this river. 

The rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina should be annexed to 
Austria-Hungary. Russia should resume her natural frontiers of 
before 1856 and might round herself off in the region of the Black 
Sea and in Turkey in Asia to the extent that this should be neces- 
sary for the establishment of better frontiers for herself in this 
direction and to serve as an equivalent for the slice of territory to 
be annexed to Austria-Hungary. 

Bulgaria, Rumelia, and Albania might form autonomous states. 
Thessaly and the island of Crete should be annexed to Greece. 

Constantinople, with a territory to be determined, should be- 
come a free city. 

It was equally agreed that all these ideas should be kept secret 
between the two Emperors and their respective Ministers; that 
they should not be communicated to the other Powers, and more 
particularly not to the Serbians and Montenegrins, until the 
moment of their realization should arrive. 4 


His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, etc., and Apostolic King 
of Hungary, and His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, considering 

circonstances en demontrent la ne"cessite." ("The two Emperors parted in the 
best of agreement, determined to proclaim the principle of non-intervention at the 
present time. They reserve a later understanding with the great Christian Powers, 
if circumstances demonstrate the necessity thereof.") In pencil. 


negociations diplomatiques pendantes il pouvait surgir des dis- 
sentiments de nature a amener une rupture entre la Russie et 
Pempire ottoman, ont juge conforme a Fetroite amitie qui les lie 
et a Furgence d'obvier a la possibilite d'une collision des interets de 
leurs etats respectifs de s'entendre en prevision de cette even- 

A cet effet L.L. dites M & ont nomine pour leurs plenipotenti- 

S. M. Fempereur d'Autriche, roi de Boheme etc. et roi apostoli- 
que de Hongrie le sieur Jules comte Andrassy de Csik-Szent- 
Kiraly et Kraszna-Horka, grand' croix de son ordre de St. Etienne, 
chevalier de 1'ordre imperial de Russie de St. Andre, grand d'Es- 
pagne etc., etc., son conseiller intime, general dans ses armees, son 
ministre de la maison et des affaires etrangeres ; 

et S. M. Fempereur de toutes les Russies son conseiller prive le 
sieur Eugene Novikow, son ambassadeur extraordinaire et pleni- 
potentiaire pres S. M. Fempereur d'Autriche, roi de Boheme etc. 
et roi apostolique de Hongrie, chevalier des ordres de Russie: de 
St. Alexandra Nevsky, de 1'aigle blanc, de St. Wladimir de la 2* 
classe, de St. Anne de la i fere classe et de St. Stanislas de la i* 1 * 
classe; des ordres de St. Etienne, de Leopold et de la couronne de 
fer de i ifere classe d'Autriche-Hongrie et de plusieurs autres ordres 

Lesquels, apres avoir echange leurs pleins-pouvoirs trouves en 
bonne et due forme, sont convenus des articles suivants. 

ART. I. L.H.P.C. considerant que les populations chretien- 
nes et musulmanes en Bosnie et dans FHerzegovine sont trop 
entremelees pour qu'il soit permis d'attendre d'une organisation 
autonome seule une amelioration reelle de leur sorte, sont con- 
venues entre elles de ne demander pour ces provinces dans la con- 
ference de Constantinople qu'un regime autonome ne depassant 
pas trop la mesure fixee par la depeche du 30 Decembre 1875 5 et 

6 The so-called Andrassy note is printed in French as Nr. 202, pp. 156-162, in 
Actenstucke aus den Correspondenzen des kais. und kon. gemeinsamen Ministeriums 
des Aeussern iiber orientalische Angelegenheiten (vom 16. Mai 1873 bis jr. Mai 1877) 
(Vienna, 1878); as Nr. 5580 in Das Staatsarchiv, xxx, pp. 22-30; and as no. 55, in 
French with English translation, in "Turkey. No. 2 (1876). Correspondence re- 


that in the pending diplomatic negotiations disagreements might 
arise of a nature to bring about a rupture between Russia and the 
Ottoman Empire, have decided, in conformity with the close 
friendship which binds them, and with the urgency of obviating 
the possibility of a collision between the interests of their respec- 
tive States, to reach an understanding in contemplation of that 

For this purpose Their said Majesties have appointed as Their 
Plenipotentiaries: His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of 
Bohemia, etc., and Apostolic King of Hungary, the Sieur Julius 
Count Andrassy of Csik-Szent-Kiraly and Kraszna-Horka, 
Grand Cross of His Order of St. Stephen, Chevalier of the Im- 
perial Russian Order of St. Andrew, Grandee of Spain, etc., etc., 
His Privy Councillor, General in His Armies, His Minister of the 
Household and of Foreign Affairs; 

and His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias, His Privy 
Councillor the Sieur Eugene Novikow, His Ambassador Extraor- 
dinary and Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the Emperor of Aus- 
tria, King of Bohemia, etc., and Apostolic King of Hungary, 
Chevalier of the Russian Orders of St. Alexander Nevsky, of the 
White Eagle, of St. Vladimir of the Second Class, of St. Anne of 
the First Class, and of St. Stanislas of the First Class; of the 
Austro-Hungarian Orders of St. Stephen, of Leopold, and of the 
Iron Crown of the First Class; and of several other foreign 

Who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good 
and due form, have agreed upon the following Articles: 

ARTICLE I. The High Contracting Parties, considering that 
the Christian and Mohammedan populations in Bosnia and in 
Herzegovina are too much intermingled for it to be permissible to 
expect from a mere autonomous organization a real amelioration 
of their lot, are agreed with one another to ask for these provinces 
in the conference of Constantinople only an autonomous regime 
not too greatly exceeding the measure fixed by the despatch of 
December 30, 1875, 5 and the guaranties of the memorandum of 

specting affairs in Bosnia and the Herzegovina" (Parl. Pap., 1876, Ixxxiv, p. 137. 
C. 1475), at pp. 74-83- 


les garanties du memorandum de Berlin. 6 La Bulgarie etant placee 
dans des conditions plus favorables a 1'exercice destitutions 
autonomes, elles s'engagent a reclamer pour cette province dans la 
conference une autonomie plus large, entouree de serieuses 

ART. II. Pour le cas ou les negociations ne devraient pas 
aboutir et qu'il dut en resulter une rupture suivie d'une guerre 
entre la Russie et la Turquie, le gouvernement I. et R. prend 
1'engagement formel d'observer en presence de Faction isole de la 
Russie une attitude de neutralite bienveillahte et de paralyser, 
autant qu'il depend de lui, par son action diplomatique, les essais 
d'intervention ou de mediation collective que pourraient tenter 
d'autres puissances. 

ART. III. Si le gouvernement de Pempereur et roi est invite 
a concourir a la mise en execution du traite du 15 Avril 1856 7 
il declinera sa cooperation pour le cas prevu dans la presente 
convention et, sans contester la validite du dit traite, proclamera 
sa neutralite. De meme il ne pretera pas son concours actif a une 
action effective qui pourrait etre proposee sur la base de Particle 
VIII 8 du traite du 30 Mars de la meme annee. 

ART. IV. Considerant que les necessites du passage du Da- 
nube pour les troupes russes et le besoin de proteger ce passage 
contre les canonnieres turques obligeront le gouvernement im- 
perial de Russie a apporter des dimcultes temporaires a la naviga- 
tion du fleuve place sous la garantie des traites, ce qui peut 
donner lieu a des protestations, le gouvernement austro-hongrois, 
comme signataire de ces traites et principal interesse dans la li- 
berte du fleuve, envisagera cette question comme incident de fait 

6 The so-called memorandum of Berlin of May 12, 1876, is printed in French as 
Nr. 326, pp. 221-222, in Actenstiicke aus den Correspondenzen des kais. und kon. 
gemeinsamen Ministeriums des Aeussern iiber orientalische Angelegenheiten (vom 16. 
Mai 1873 bis 31. Mai 1877) (Vienna, 1878); as Nr. 5683, Beilage, in Das Stoats- 
archiv, xxx, pp. 270-272; and as enclosure 2 in no. 248, in French with English trans- 
lation, in "Turkey. No. 3 (1876). Correspondence respecting the affairs of Turkey 
and the insurrection in Bosnia and the Herzegovina" (Parl. Pap., 1876, Ixxxiv, 
p. 255. c. 1531), at pp. 138-141. 

7 The treaty of April 15, 1856, between Great Britain, Austria, and France, 
guaranteeing the independence and integrity of the Ottoman Empire, is printed in 


Berlin. 6 As Bulgaria is placed under more favorable conditions 
for the exercise of autonomous institutions, they mutually engage 
to demand for this province in the conference a larger autonomy, 
buttressed by substantial guaranties. 

ARTICLE II. In the case that the negotiations should not suc- 
ceed, and should result in a rupture followed by war between 
Russia and Turkey, the Imperial and Royal Government for- 
mally pledges itself to observe an attitude of benevolent neutral- 
ity in the presence of the isolated action of Russia, and by its 
diplomatic action to paralyze, so far as this lies in its power, efforts 
at intervention or collective mediation which might be attempted 
by other Powers. 

ARTICLE III. If the Government of the Emperor and King is 
invited to assist in putting into force the treaty of April 15, i856, 7 
it will, in the event foreseen by the present convention, refuse its 
cooperation, and, without contesting the validity of the said 
Treaty, it will proclaim its neutrality. Likewise it will not lend its 
active aid to effective action which might be proposed on the basis 
of Article VIII 8 of the Treaty of March 30 of that same year. 

ARTICLE IV. Considering that the necessity for the Russian 
troops of crossing the Danube and the need to protect this cross- 
ing against the Turkish gunboats will oblige the Imperial Govern- 
ment of Russia to offer temporary hindrances to the navigation of 
a river placed under the guaranty of treaties, which may give rise 
to protests, the Austro-Hungarian Government, as a signatory of 
these treaties and the one principally interested in the freedom of 
the river, will regard this question as an incident of a temporary 

French in British and Foreign State Papers, xlvi, pp. 25-26; Nouveau recueil general 
de traites, xv, pp. 790-791; Leopold Neumann, Rectteil des traites et conventions con- 
clus par I'Autriche, vi, p. 292; Alexandre de Clercq, Recueil des traites de la France, 
vii, p. 90. 

8 Article VIII of the Treaty of Paris, March 30, 1856, between Great Britain, 
Austria, France, Prussia, Sardinia, and Turkey on the one part, and Russia on the 
other, reads: 

"If there should arise between the Sublime Porte and one or more of the other 
signing Powers, any misunderstanding which might endanger the maintenance of 
their relations, the Sublime Porte, and each of such Powers, before having recourse 
to the use of force, shall afford the other contracting parties the opportunity of pre- 
venting such an extremity by means of their mediation." 


temporaire, inevitable en cas de guerre, mais ne touchant pas aux 
grands principes dont le maintien interesse 1'Europe. De son cote 
le gouvernement russe prend Pengagement formel de respecter les 
principes de la liberte de navigation et de la neutralite du Danube 
et de se mettre d 'accord avec le gouvernement de S. M. Pempereur 
et roi pour retablir aussitot que faire se pourra. , 

ART. V. Le gouvernement austro-hongrois pretera, dans les 
limites de la convention de Geneve, un concours bienveillant a 
Porganisation des ambulances provisoires russes sur les lignes de 
chemins-de-fer Cracovie-Leopol-Csernowitz (entre Granicza et 
Suczava) avec les embranchements de Woloczysk et Brody, ainsi 
qu'un mouvement sur les lignes susmentionnees du materiel rou- 
lant necessaire a ces ambulances. II admettra dans ses hopitaux 
civils et militaires sur le parcours des lignes susmentionnees les 
malades et blesses russes contre paiement d'apres le tarif militaire 
autrichien en vigueur. 

ART. VI. Le gouvernement austro-hongrois ne mettra aucun 
obstacle a ce que les commissionnaires et agents du gouvernement 
russe effectuent dans les limites des etats austro-hongrois les 
achats et commandes d'objets indispensables a Parmee russe a 
Pexclusion des articles de contrebande de guerre prohibes par les 
lois internationales. Toutefois le gouvernement de S. M. I. et R. 
s'engage a user dans Papplication et dans Interpretation de ces 
lois de la plus large bienveillance a Pegard de la Russie. 

ART. VII. S. M. Pempereur d'Autriche etc. et roi apostoli- 
que de Hongrie se reserve le choix du moment et du mode de 
Poccupation de la Bosnie et de PHerzegovine par ses troupes. II 
demeure entendu que cette mesure, sans assumer un caractere de 
solidarite avec Poccupation de la Bulgarie par Parmee russe, ne 
devra presenter, ni dans son interpretation par le gouvernement 
de S. M. I. et R., ni dans son execution, un caractere d'hostilite a 
Pegard de la Russie. De meme Pintervention de Parmee russe en 
Turquie ne devra presenter, ni dans son interpretation par le 
gouvernement imperial de Russie, ni dans son execution un ca- 
ractere d'hostilite a Pegard de PAutriche-Hongrie. 


nature, inevitable in case of war, but not affecting the great prin- 
ciples whose maintenance is of interest to Europe. On its side, the 
Russian Government formally pledges itself to respect the prin- 
ciples of the freedom of navigation and of the neutrality of the 
Danube, and to put itself into agreement with the Government of 
His Majesty the Emperor and King to reestablish them as soon as 
may be. 

ARTICLE V. The Austro-Hungarian Government will lend, 
within the limits of the Convention of Geneva, its benevolent 
assistance to the organization of temporary Russian ambulances 
on the Cracow-Lemberg-Czernowitz lines of railroad (between 
Granicza and Suczava) with the Woloczysk and Brody branches, 
as well as to the movement on the abovementioned lines of the 
rolling stock necessary for these ambulances. It will admit into 
its civil and military hospitals along the abovementioned lines 
Russian sick and wounded, in return for payment according to the 
existing Austrian military tariff. 

ARTICLE VI. The Austro-Hungarian Government will not 
obstruct the commissioners and agents of the Russian Govern- 
ment in making in the limits of the Austro-Hungarian States pur- 
chases and contracts for objects indispensable to the Russian 
Army, with the exception of articles contraband of war pro- 
hibited by international laws. The Government of His Imperial 
and Royal Majesty, however, engages in the application and in 
the interpretation of these laws to show the broadest good will 
towards Russia. 

ARTICLE VII. His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, etc., and 
Apostolic King of Hungary reserves to himself the choice of the 
moment and of the mode of the occupation of Bosnia and of Her- 
zegovina by his troops. It remains understood that this measure, 
without assuming a character of solidarity with the occupation of 
Bulgaria by the Russian Army, shall not present, either in its in- 
terpretation by the Government of His Imperial and Royal 
Majesty or in its execution, a character of hostility towards 
Russia. Likewise the intervention of the Russian Army in Tur- 
key shall not present, either in its interpretation by the Imperial 
Government of Russia or in its execution, a character of hostility 
towards Austria-Hungary. 


ART. VIII. L. H. P. C. s'engagent reciproquement a ne pas 
etendre le rayon de leur action militaire respective: S.M. 1'em- 
pereur d'Autriche etc. et roi apostoKque de Hongrie, a la 
Roumanie, la Serbie, la Bulgarie et le Montenegro; 

et S.M. 1'empereur de toutes les Russies a la Bosnie, 1'Herze- 
govine, la Serbie et le Montenegro. La Serbie, le Montenegro et 
la partie de Herzegovine qui separe ces deux principautes forme- 
ront une zone neutre continue que les armees des deux empires ne 
pourront pas franchir, et destinee a preserver ces dernieres de tout 
contact immediat. Toutefois il demeure entendu, que le gou- 
vernement I. et R. ne s'opposera pas a Faction combinee des 
forces serbes et montenegrines hors de leurs pays avec les troupes 

ART. IX. Les consequences de la guerre et les remaniements 
territoriaux qui resulteraient d'une dissolution eventuelle de 
1'empire ottoman seront regies par une convention speciale et 

ART. X. L.H.P.C. s'engagent a tenir secretes les stipulations 
de la presente convention. Elle sera ratifiee et les ratifications 
en seront echangees dans 1'espace de quatre semaines, ou plus 
t6t si faire se peut. 

En foi de quoi les plenipotentiaires respectifs 1'ont signee et y 
ont appose le sceau de leurs armes. 

Fait a Budapest, le quinzieme jour du mois de Janvier de Fan 
mil huit cent soixante dix sept. 

L.S. Andrassy. 

L.S. Novikow. 

Convention additionnelle. 

S.M. 1'empereur d'Autriche etc. et roi de Hongrie d'une part et 
S.M. 1'empereur de toutes les Russies de 1'autre, en execution de 
Particle IX de la convention secrete signee en date d'aujourd'hui 
ont jugeconforme a 1'etroite amitie qui les lieet a 1'urgence d'obvier 
a la possibilite d'une collision des interets de leurs etats resp>ectifs; 
de s'entendre sur les consequences de la guerre et de conclure a cet 


ARTICLE VIII. The High Contracting Parties reciprocally 
engage not to extend the radius of their respective military ac- 
tion: His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, etc., and Apostolic 
King of Hungary, to Rumania, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Monte- 

and His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias to Bosnia, 
Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. Serbia, Montenegro, and 
the portion of Herzegovina which separates these two principali- 
ties are to form a continuous neutral zone, which the armies of the 
two Empires may not cross, and intended to preserve these latter 
from all immediate contact. It remains understood, however, 
that the Imperial and Royal Government will not oppose the 
combined action of Serbian and Montenegrin forces outside of 
their own countries with the Russian troops. 

ARTICLE IX. The consequences of war and the territorial 
modifications which would result from an eventual dissolution of 
the Ottoman Empire shall be regulated by a special and simul- 
taneous convention. 

ARTICLE X. The High Contracting Parties mutually engage 
to keep secret the stipulations of the present Convention. It shall 
be ratified and ratifications thereof shall be exchanged within the 
period of four weeks, or sooner if may be. 

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed 
it and have affixed the seal of their arms. 

Done at Budapest, the fifteenth day of the month of January in 
the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven. 

L. S. Andrassy. 

L. S. Novikow. 

Additional Convention. 

His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, etc., and King of Hun- 
gary on the one part, and His Majesty the Emperor of All the 
Russias on the other, in execution of Article IX of the secret Con- 
vention signed under today's date, have deemed it in conformity 
with the close friendship which binds them and with the urgency 
of obviating the possibility of a collision between the interests of 
their respective States, to reach an understanding respecting the 


effet une convention additionnelle destinee a regler d'avance les 
remaniements territoriaux que la guerre ou la dissolution de 
1'empire ottoman pourrait avoir pour resultat. A cet effet L. L. 
dites M 6 " ont nomme pour leurs plenipotentiaires, savoir: 

S.M. 1'empereur d'Autriche roi de Boheme etc. et roi apostoli- 
que de Hongrie le sieur Jules comte Andrassy de Csik-Szent 
Kiralyi, grand d'Espagne, son conseiller intime actuel et ministre 
des affaires etrangeres etc., etc. 

et S. M. 1'empereur de toutes les Russies le sieur Eugene 
Novikow, son ambassadeur extraordinaire etc., etc. 

lesquels apres avoir echange leurs plein-pouvoirs, trouvs en 
bonne et due forme, sont convenus des articles suivants: 

ART. i. Les deux H.P.C. ayant pour but final 1'amelioration 
du sort des Chretiens et voulant ecarter tout projet d'annexions 
d'une etendue qui pourrait compromettre la paix ou 1'equilibre 
europeen, ce qui n'est ni dans leurs intentions, ni dans les interets 
des deux empires, sont tombees d'accord de limiter leurs annex- 
ions eventuelles aux territoires suivants: 

L'empereur d'Autriche etc. et roi de Hongrie: a la Bosnie et 
FHerzegovine a Fexclusion de la partie comprise entre la Serbie et 
le Montenegro, au sujet de laquelle les deux gouvernements se 
reservent de se mettre d'accord lorsque le moment d'en disposer 
serait venu; 

L'empereur de toutes les Russies: en Europe aux con trees de la 
Bessarabie qui retabliraient les anciennes frontieres de Tempire 
ava'nt 1856. 

ART. 2. L.H.P.C. s'engagent a se preter un mutuel concours 
sur le terrain diplomatique, si les remaniements territoriaux 
resultant d'une guerre ou de la dissolution de remplre ottoman 
devaient donner lieu a une deliberation collective des grandes 

ART. 3. S.M. Tempereur d'Autriche etc. et le roi de Hongrie 
et S.M. 1'empereur de toutes les Russies sont tombes d'accord 
en principe dans 1'entrevue qui a eu lieu entre elles a Reichstadt 
sur les points suivants: En cas d'un remaniement territorial ou 


consequences of the war, and to conclude for this purpose an 
Additional Convention designed to regulate in advance the 
territorial modifications which might result from the war or the 
dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. To this end Their said 
Majesties have appointed as Their Plenipotentiaries, to wit: 

His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, etc., 
and Apostolic King of Hungary, the Sieur Julius Count An- 
drassy of Czik-Szent-Kiralyi, Grandee of Spain, His Actual Privy 
Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, etc., etc.; 

and His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias, the Sieur 
Eugene Novikow, His Ambassador Extraordinary, etc., etc.: 

Who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good 
and due form, have agreed upon the following Articles: 

ARTICLE i. The two High Contracting Parties, having as their 
ultimate aim the amelioration of the lot of the Christians, and 
wishing to eliminate any project of annexation of a magnitude 
that might compromise peace or the European equilibrium, which 
is neither in their intentions nor in the interests of the two Em- 
pires, have come to an agreement to limit their eventual annexa- 
tions to the following territories: 

The Emperor of Austria, etc., and King of Hungary: to Bosnia 
and Herzegovina, with the exception of the portion comprised 
between Serbia and Montenegro, on the subject of which the two 
Governments reserve the right to reach an agreement when the 
moment for disposing of it arrives; 

The Emperor of All the Russias: in Europe to the regions of 
Bessarabia which would reestablish the old frontiers of the 
Empire before 1856. 

ARTICLE 2. The High Contracting Parties engage to lend each 
other mutual assistance in the diplomatic field, if the territorial 
modifications resulting from a war or from the dissolution of the 
Ottoman Empire should give rise to a collective deliberation of 
the Great Powers. 

ARTICLE 3. His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, etc., and 
King of Hungary, and His Majesty the Emperor of All the 
Russias, in the interview which took place between them at 
Reichstadt, came to an agreement in principle on the following 


(Tune dissolution de Pempire ottoman, Petablissement d'un grand 
etat compact slave ou autre est exclu; en revanche la Bulgarie, 
PAlbanie et le reste de la Roumelie pourraient etre constitutes en 
6tats independants; la Thessalie, une partie de PEpire et Pile de 
Crete, pourraient etre annexees a la Grece; Constantinople avec 
une banlieue, dont la circonscription reste a determiner, pourrait 
devenir ville libre. Leurs dites M^ 8 constatent n'avoir rien a 
changer a ces vues et declarent de nouveau vouloir les maintenir 
comme bases de leur action politique ulterieure. 

ART. 4. L.H.P.C. s'engagent a tenir secretes les stipulations 
de la presente convention qui sera ratifiee et dont les ratifications 
seront echangees a Vienne dans Pespace de quatre semaines ou 
plus tot si faire se peut. 

En foi de quoi les plenipotentiaires respectifs Pont signee et y 
ont appose le sceau de leurs armes. 

Fait a Budapest, le quinzieme jour du mois de Janvier de Pan 
mil huit cent soixante dix serjt. 

L.S. Andrassy. L.S. Novikow. 


points: In case of a territorial modification or of a dissolution of 
the Ottoman Empire, the establishment of a great compact 
Slavic or other state is excluded; in compensation, Bulgaria, 
Albania, and the rest of Rumelia might be constituted into inde- 
pendent states; Thessaly, part of Epirus, and the island of Crete 
might be annexed to Greece; Constantinople, with a territory of 
which the limit remains to be determined, might become a free 
city. Their said Majesties record that they have nothing to change 
in these views, and declare anew that they wish to maintain them 
as bases of their subsequent political action. 

ARTICLE 4. The High Contracting Parties engage to keep 
secret the stipulations of the present Convention, which shall be 
ratified and whose ratifications shall be exchanged at Vienna 
within the space of four weeks, or sooner if may be. 

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed 
it and have affixed thereto the seal of their arms. 

Done at Budapest, the fifteenth day of the month of January in 
the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven. 

L. S. Andrassy. L. S. Novikow. 



IT was always asserted by the states which formed the Triple 
Alliance, and by the partisans of that alliance everywhere, that it 
was of a purely defensive nature and was first and foremost a 
league of peace. Now that we have at last the full text of the 
documents, we may freely admit that this assertion was justified, 
at least as far as the first treaty was concerned. By the second, 
that of 1887, we find in Articles III and IV of the separate treaty 
between Germany and Italy provisions looking forward to an 
Italian occupation of Tripoli and to possible Italian acquisitions 

1 Ministere des affaires 6trangeres. Documents diplomatiques. L' alliance franco- 
russe: Origines de I 'alliance, 1890-1893; Convention militaire, 1892-1899; et Conven- 
tion navale, 1912. Paris, Imprimerie Rationale, 1918. This entire Yellow Book was 
republished in Pages d'histoire, no. 159. The best single account of the negotiations 
resulting in this alliance is Pierre Albin's La paix armee, UAllemagne et la France en 
Europe (1885-1894) (Paris, Alcan, 1913). The Souvenirs, 1878-1893, of C. de S. de 
Freycinet (Paris, Delagrave, 1913) contain a chapter of value upon the alliance, by 
the premier active in promoting its first stage. See also Revanche-Idee und Pan- 
slawismus: Belgische Gesandtschaftsberichte zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Zweibund- 
es, edited by Wilhelm Kohler (Berlin, Robbing, 1919), the fifth volume of the 
series Zur europaischen Politik; Jens Julius Hansen's L } Alliance franco-russe (Paris, 
1897) and Ambassade a Paris du Baron de Mohrenheim (Paris, Flammarion, 1907); 
Andre" Tardieu's La France et les Alliances (Paris, Alcan, 1904; London and New 
York; Macmillan, 1908); Ernest Daudet's Souvenirs et revelations: Histoire diploma- 
tique de V alliance franco-russe, 1875-1893 (Paris, Ollendorff, 1894); filie de Cyon's 
Histoire de V entente franco-russe, 1886-1894; documents et souvenirs (Paris, Charles, 
1895); V. de GorlofFs Origines et bases de V alliance franco-russe (Paris, Grasset, 
1913); and Laurence B. Packard's "Russia and the Dual Alliance," in American 
Historical Review, xxv, pp. 391-410 (April, 1920). 

Speeches of Baron de Mohrenheim on August 31, 1891, of Premier de Freycinet 
on September 10, and of M. Ribot on September 29 respecting the conclusion of the 
alliance are printed in Archives diplomatiques, xl, pp. 212-214. 

The alliance was officially announced by M. Ribot, then Premier, to the French 
Chamber of Deputies on June 10, 1895. Journal officiel, Chambre des deputes, June 
10, 1895, pp. 1647-1654. It was again discussed authoritatively with respect to its 
scope by M. Ribot in the French Senate on April 6, 1911. Annales du Senat. De- 
bats parlementaires, Ixxviii, p. 461. 



of territory at the expense of France. Of course these were pro- 
visions stated to be operative only under necessities of self- 
defence, but they were at bottom primarily of an offensive, not of 
a defensive, character. But granting that the Triple Alliance was 
merely one for mutual defence, it conferred on its members great 
advantages in their dealings with other states, especially with 
those against whom the alliance was directed. 

On the other hand, in the nature of things Germany, Austria, 
and Italy could not by their various combinations hold Russia in 
check on the one side and overawe France on the other without 
tending to 'bring about, sooner or later, some sort of a counter 
agreement between these two. Isolated, France and Russia were 
comparatively powerless; by uniting they at once obtained greater 
security and freedom of action and formed in their turn a combi- 
nation which even the Triple Alliance must treat as an equal. This 
danger was clear to Bismarck, who always did his utmost to avert 
it. Conservative as he was, he favored a republican form of gov- 
ernment for France, because he believed that this would hamper 
her in making an alliance with any monarchical state, and partic- 
ularly with the most monarchical of all, the Russian one. He 
also assiduously cultivated good relations with Russia, when they 
could be maintained without the sacrifice of more important in- 
terests. The conclusion of the Austro-German alliance in 1879 
did not prevent the formation of the League of the Three Em- 
perors in 1 88 1, which was renewed three years later, although the 
Triple Alliance had come into existence in the meantime. Even in 
1887, after the renewal of the Triple Alliance and the definite es- 
trangement between Austria and Russia, Bismarck by his secret 
Reinsurance treaty still kept his wire to St. Petersburg; it was 
only severed after his fall in 1890. 

But even before that date, relations between Paris and St. 
Petersburg had become increasingly cordial. Little interchanges 
of politeness and good offices grew frequent. A more serious sign 
of the times lay in the fact that the closing of the Berlin market 
to Russian securities was soon followed by the formal opening of 
the Paris one. The termination of the Boulanger episode and the 
success of the Paris exhibition of 1889 appear to have given the 


Tsar a higher opinion of the steadiness, as well as of the firmness, 
of the French Republic, while the understanding between Eng- 
land, Austria, and Italy, which checkmated any Russian action in 
Bulgaria, emphasized the disadvantages of his isolation. When, 
therefore, William II and Count Caprivi refused to renew the Re- 
insurance treaty and entered upon a policy of cultivating intimate 
relations with England, the Tsar proceeded to draw closer to 
France. The second renewal of the Triple Alliance in March, 
1891, was answered on July 18 of the same year by the visit of the 
French fleet to Kronstadt. 

Although the idea of a demonstration of this kind was not a 
new one, yet, carried out at this time and in the way that it was, it 
served as a notification to the world that France and Russia were 
henceforth practically allies. The terms of their alliance were not 
yet settled, and it was not until a later date that the negotiations 
led to a final exchange of signatures. Like the Triple, the Dual 



M. de Mohrenheim, Ambassador of Russia at Paris, to M. Ribot, 

Minister of Foreign A fairs of France, communicating the 

instructions of M. de Giers, Russian Minister 

of Foreign Affairs? 

Paris, le 15/27 aout 1891. 

Durant mon recent sejour a Saint-Petersbourg, ou j'ai ete 
mande d'ordre de mon Auguste Souverain, il a plu a I'Empereur 
de me munir destructions speciales, consignees dans la lettre 
ci-jointe en copie que m'a adressee Son Excellence M. de Giers, 
Ministre des Affaires etrangeres, et dont Sa Majeste a daigne me 
prescrire de dormer communication au Gouvernement de la 

En execution de cet ordre supreme, je me fais un devoir em- 
presse de porter cette piece a la connaissance de Votre Excellence, 
dans le ferme espoir que son contenu, prealablement concerte et 
formule d'un commun accord entre nos deux Cabinets, rencon- 


Alliance remained secret; and there were many surmises as to its 
exact contents, which were only revealed to the public after the 
outbreak of the World War and the downfall of the Russian Em- 
pire. It also was strictly defensive in its terms and in its nature. 
It did not countenance aggressive policies, but it did give the 
greater security which the two signatories desired. During the 
twenty and more years of friendship, the policies of France and 
Russia did not always agree with one another, and the enthu- 
siasm of the first moments was followed by a calmer appreciation 
of the merits of the compact; but it remained unbroken. When 
the supreme test came in 1914, on a question in which France had 
no direct interest, none the less, as unhesitatingly as Germany 
supported Austria, France remained loyal to her bond, and 
accepted without flinching all the terrible risks and sacrifices of 
the World War. 

A. C. C. 


M. de Mohrenheim, Ambassador of Russia at Paris, to M. Ribot, 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, communicating the 

instructions of M. de Giers, Russian Minister 

of Foreign Affairs? 

Paris, August 15/27, 1891. 

During my recent sojourn in St. Petersburg, whither I was 
ordered by my August Sovereign, it pleased the Emperor to pro- 
vide me with special instructions, set forth in the letter, sub- 
joined in copy, which His Excellency, M. de Giers, Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, addressed to me, and which His Majesty has 
deigned to direct me to communicate to the Government of the 

In execution of this Supreme order, I am making it my pressing 

duty to bring this document to the knowledge of Your Excellency, 

in the firm hope that its contents, previously concerted and for- 

mulated by common agreement between our two Cabinets, will 

2 Documents diplomatiques. U alliance franco-rwse, no. 17. 


trera le plein suffrage du Gouvernement frangais, et que vous 
voudrez bien, Monsieur le Ministre, conformement au voeu ex- 
prime par M. de Giers, m'honorer d'une reponse temoignant du 
parfait accord heureusement etabli desormais entre nos deux 
Gouvernements . 

Les developpements ulterieurs dont les deux points ainsi con- 
venus sont non seulement susceptibles, mais qui en formeront le 
complement necessaire, pourront faire 1'objet de pourparlers con- 
fidentiels et intimes a tel moment juge opportun par Tun ou 
Pautre Cabinet, ou ils estimeront pouvoir y proceder en temps 

Me tenant, a cet effet, a Pentiere disposition de Votre Excel- 
lence, je suis heureux de pouvoir me prevaloir d'une occasion 
pareille pour la prier de vouloir bien agreer rhommage renouvele 
de ma plus haute consideration et de mon plus inalterable de- 
vouement. Mohrenheim. 


Letter of M. de Giers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, 
to M. de Mohrenheiln, Ambassador of Russia at. Paris. 

Petersbourg, le 9/21 aout 1891. 

La situation creee en Europe par le renouvellement manifeste 
de la triple alliance et Padhesion plus ou moins probable de la 
Grande-Bretagne aux visees politiques que cette alliance pour- 
suit, a motive, lors du recent sejour ici Laboulaye, entre 
Pancien Ambassadeur de France et moi, un echange d'idees ten- 
dant a definir 1'attitude qui, dans les conjunctures actuelles et en 
presence de certaines eventualites, pourrait le mieux convenir ^. 
nos Gouvernements respectifs, lesquels, restes en dehors de toute 
ligue, n'en sont pas moins sincerement desireux d'entourer le 
maintien de la paix des garanties les plus efficaces. 

C'est ainsi que nous avons ete amenes a formuler les deux 
points ci-dessous : 

i. Ann de definir et de consacrer 1'entente cordiale qui les 
unit et desireux de contribuer d'un commun accord au maintien 
de la paix qui forme Tobjet de leurs voeux les plus sinceres, les 


meet with the full approbation of the French Government; and 
that you will be kind enough, Mr. Minister, in conformity with the 
wish expressed by M. de Giers, to honor me with a reply testify- 
ing to the perfect agreement fortunately established from this 
time on between our two Governments. 

The ulterior developments, of which the two points thus agreed 
upon not only are susceptible, but which will form their necessary 
complement, may be made the subject of confidential and inti- 
mate conferences at the moment judged opportune by either 
Cabinet, when they believe they can proceed to it at a good time. 

Holding myself for this purpose at the entire disposition of 
Your Excellency, I am happy to be able to take advantage of such 
an occasion to ask you to be kind enough to accept the renewed 
homage of my highest consideration and of my most unalterable 



Letter of M. de Giers, Minister of Foreign A fairs of Russia, 
to M. de Mohrenheim, Ambassador of Russia at Paris. 

Petersburg, August 9/21, 1891. 

The situation created in Europe by the open renewal of the 
Triple Alliance and the more or less probable adhesion of Great 
Britain to the political aims which that alliance pursues, has, 
during the recent sojourn here of M. de Laboulaye, prompted an 
exchange of ideas between the former Ambassador of France and 
myself, tending to define the attitude which, as things now stand 
and in the presence of certain eventualities, might best suit our 
respective Governments, which, having kept out of any league, 
are none the less sincerely desirous of surrounding the mainte- 
nance of peace with the most efficacious guaranties. 

It is thus that we have been led to formulate the two points 

i. In order to define and consecrate the cordial understanding 
which unites them, and desirous of contributing in common 
agreement to the maintenance of the peace which forms the ob- 


deux Gouvernements declarant qu'ils se concerteront sur toute 
question de nature a mettre la paix generale en cause; 3 

2. Pour le cas cm cette paix serait effectivement en danger et 
specialement pour celui ou Tune des deux parties serait menacee 
d'une agression, les deux parties conviennent de s'entendre sur 
les mesures dont la realisation de cette eventualite imposerait 
1'adoption immediate et simultanee aux deux Gouvernements. 4 

Ayant soumis a 1'Empereur le fait de cet echange d'idees ainsi 
que le texte des conclusions qui en etaient resultees, j'ai 1'honneur 
de vous informer aujourd'hui que Sa Majeste a daigne approuver 
entierement ces principes d'entente et verrait avec faveur leur 
adoption par les deux Gouvernements. 

En vous faisant part de ces dispositions Souveraines, je vous 
prie de vouloir bien les porter a la connaissance du Gouverne- 
ment francais et de me communiquer les resolutions auxquelles, 
pour sa part, il pourrait s'arreter. 


M. Ribot, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, to M. de Mohrenheim, 
Russian Ambassador at Paris, in reply to the preceding. 6 

Paris, le 27 aout 1891. 

Vous avez bien voulu, d'ordre de votre Gouvernement, me 
communiquer le texte de la lettre du Ministre des Affaires etran- 
geres de 1'Empire, ou sont consignees les instructions speciales 
dont 1'Empereur Alexandre a decide de vous munir, a la suite du 
dernier echange d'idees auquel la situation generale de 1'Europe 
a donne lieu entre M. de Giers et 1'Ambassadeur de la Republique 
franchise a Saint-Petersbourg. 

Votre Excellence etait chargee d'exprimer en mme temps 
1'espoir que le contenu de cette piece, prealablement concerte et 
formule d'un commun accord entre les deux Cabinets, rencon- 
trerait le plein suffrage du Gouvernement franc.ais. 

Cf. Article V, par. i, of the treaty of the Triple Alliance of May 20, 1882. Vol. 
I, p. 67, supra. 

4 Cf. Article III of the treaty of the Triple Alliance of May 20, 1882. Vol. I, 
p. 67, supra. 


ject of their sincerest aspirations, the two Governments declare 
that they will take counsel together upon every question of a 
nature to jeopardize the general peace; 3 

2. In case that peace should be actually in danger, and espe- 
cially if one of the two parties should be threatened with an ag- 
gression, the two parties undertake to reach an understanding on 
the measures whose immediate and simultaneous adoption would 
be imposed upon the two Governments by the realization of this 
eventuality. 4 

Having submitted to the Emperor the fact of this exchange of 
ideas as well as the text of the conclusions resulting therefrom, I 
have the honor to inform you today that His Majesty has deigned 
to approve completely these principles of agreement, and would 
view with favor their adoption by the two Governments. 

In informing you of these Sovereign dispositions, I beg that you 
be kind enough to bring them to the knowledge of the French 
Government and to communicate to me the decisions which it 
may take on its side. 



M . Ribot, French Minister of Foreign Afairs, to M. de Mohrenheim, 
Russian Ambassador at Paris, in reply to the preceding. 5 

Paris, August 27, 1891. 

You have been kind enough, by order of your Government, to 
communicate to me the text of the letter of the Minister of 
Foreign Affairs of the Empire, wherein are set forth the spe- 
cial instructions with which the Emperor Alexander decided to 
provide you in pursuance of the last exchange of ideas to which the 
general situation of Europe had given rise between M. de Giers 
and the Ambassador of the French Republic at St. Petersburg. 

Your Excellency was instructed to express at the same time the 
hope that the contents of this document, previously concerted 
and formulated in common agreement between the two Cabinets, 
would meet with the full assent of the French Government. 

6 Documents diplomatiques. L' alliance franco-russe, no. 18. 


Je m'empresse de remercier Votre Excellence de cette commu- 

Le Gouvernement de la Republique ne pouvait qu'envisager 
comme le Gouvernement Imperial la situation creee en Europe 
par les conditions dans lesquelles s'est produit le renouvellement 
de la triple alliance et il estime avec lui que le moment est venu de 
definir 1'attitude qui, dans les conjonctures actuelles et en pre- 
sence de certaines eventualites, pourrait le mieux convenir aux 
deux Gouvernements, egalement desireux d'assurer au maintien 
de la paix les garanties qui resultent de 1'equilibre entre les forces 

Je suis heureux en consequence de faire savoir a Votre Excel- 
lence que le Gouvernement de la Republique donne son entiere 
adhesion aux deux points qui font 1'objet de la communication de 
M. de Giers et qui sont ainsi formules: 

i. Ann de definir et de consacrer Pentente cordiale qui les 
unit et desireux de contribuer d'un commun accord au maintien 
de la paix qui forme Fobjet de leurs voeux les plus sinceres, les 
deux Gouvernements declarent qu'ils se concerteront sur toute 
question de nature a mettre la paix generale en cause; 

2. Pour le cas ou cette paix serai t effectivement en danger et 
specialement pour celui ou 1'une des deux parties serait menacee 
d'une agression, les deux parties conviennent de s'entendre sur 
les mesures dont la realisation de cette eventualite imposerait 
1'adoption immediate et simultanee aux deux Gouvernements. 

Je me tiens d'ailleurs a votre disposition pour examiner toutes 
les questions qui, dans 1'etat actuel de la politique generale, s'im- 
posent plus particulierement a 1'attention des deux Gouverne- 

D'autre part, le Gouvernement imperial se rendra compte sans 
doute comme nous de Pinteret qu'il y aurait a confier a des dele- 
gues speciaux, qui seraient designes le plus tot possible, Fetude 
pratique des mesures destinees a parer aux eventualites prevues 
par le second point de Taccord. 

En vous priant de porter a la connaissance du Gouvernement 
de Sa Majeste la reponse du Gouvernement frangais, je tiens a 


I hasten to thank Your Excellency for this communication. 

The Government of the Republic can only take the same view 
as does the Imperial Government of the situation created in 
Europe by the conditions under which the renewal of the Triple 
Alliance has come to pass, and believes with it that the moment 
has arrived to define the attitude which, as things now stand and 
in the presence of certain eventualities, might seem best to the 
two Governments, equally desirous of assuring the guaranties for 
the maintenance of peace which result from the European balance 
of power. 

I am, therefore, happy to inform Your Excellency that the 
Government of the Republic gives its entire adhesion to the two 
points which form the subject of the communication of M. de 
Giers and which are formulated as follows: 

1. In order to define and consecrate the cordial understanding 
which unites them, and desirous of contributing in common agree- 
ment to the maintenance of the peace which forms the object of 
their sincerest aspirations, the two Governments declare that they 
will take counsel together upon every question of a nature to 
jeopardize the general peace; 

2. In case that peace should be actually in danger, and espe- 
cially if one of the two parties should be threatened with an ag- 
gression, the two parties undertake to reach an understanding on 
the measures whose immediate and simultaneous adoption would 
be imposed upon the two Governments by the realization of this 

I furthermore hold myself at your disposal for the examination 
of all questions which, under present political conditions, make 
more particular demand upon the attention of the two Govern- 

Conversely, the Imperial Government will doubtless appre- 
ciate, as do we, the importance of confiding to special delegates, 
who should be designated as soon as possible, the practical study 
of measures designed to meet the eventualities foreseen by the 
second point of the agreement. 

In begging you to bring the reply of the French Government to 
the knowledge of the Government of His Majesty, I wish to em- 


marquer combien il m'a ete precieux de pouvoir concourir, en ce 
qui me concerne, a la consecration (Tune entente qui a ete con- 
stamment Fob jet de nos communs efforts. 



Draft of Military Convention. 6 

La France et la Russie, etant animees d'un egal desir de con- 
server la paix, et n'ayant d'autre but que de parer aux necessites 
d'une guerre defensive, provoquee par une attaque des forces de la 
Triple Alliance contre Tune ou 1'autre d'entre elles, sont con- 
venues des dispositions suivantes: 

i. Si la France est attaquee par 1'Allemagne, ou par PItalie 
soutenue par 1'Allemagne, la Russie emploiera toutes ses forces 
disponibles pour attaquer 1'Allemagne. 7 

Si la Russie est attaquee par 1'Allemagne, ou par 1'Autriche 
soutenue par 1'Allemagne, la France emploiera toutes ses forces 
disponibles pour combattre 1'Allemagne. 

2. Dans le cas ou les forces de la Triple Alliance, ou d'une des 
Puissances qui en font partie, viendraient a se mobiliser, la France 
et la Russie, a la premiere annonce de 1'evenement, et sans qu'il 
soit besoin d'un concert prealable, mobiliseront immediatement 
et simultanement la totalite de leurs forces, et les porteront le 
plus pres possible de leurs frontieres. 

3. Les forces disponibles qui doivent etre employees contre 
1'Allemagne seront, du cote de la France, de 1,300,000 homines, 
du cote de la Russie, de 700,000 a 800,000 hommes. 

Ces forces s'engageront a fond, en toute diligence, de maniere 
que I'Allemagne ait a lutter, a la fois, a 1'Est et a 1'Ouest. 

6 Ibid., no. 71, Report, containing the definitive draft of the military convention, 
from General de Boisdeffre to the Minister of War, dated at St. Petersburg, August 
1 8, 1892. The report is in the form of a diary. The draft was signed on August 17. 
The following note is attached to the draft: 

"This document is preserved in an envelope bearing this autographic annota- 


phasize how much I cherish the opportunity to participate in the 
consecration of an understanding which has been the constant 
object of our common efforts. 



; to it! . > 

Draft of Military Convention. 6 

France and Russia, being animated by an equal desire to pre- 
serve peace, and having no other object than to meet the necessi- 
ties of a defensive war, provoked by an attack of the forces of the 
Triple Alliance against the one or the other of them, have agreed 
upon the following provisions: 

1. If France is attacked by Germany, or by Italy supported by 
Germany, Russia shall employ all her available forces to attack 
Germany. 7 

If Russia is attacked by Germany, or by Austria supported by 
Germany, France shall employ all her available forces to fight 

2. In case the forces of the Triple Alliance, or of one of the 
Powers composing it, should mobilize, France and Russia, at the 
first news of the event and without the necessity of any previous 
concert, shall mobilize immediately and simultaneously the whole 
of their forces and shall move them as close as possible to their 

3. The available forces to be employed against Germany shall 
be, on the part of France, 1,300,000 men, on the part of Russia, 
700,000 or 800,000 men. 

These forces shall engage to the full, with all speed, in order 
that Germany may have to fight at the same time on the East and 
on the West. 

tion: 'The military convention is accepted by the letter of M. de Giers to M. de 
Montebello giving treaty force to this convention. (Signed) Felix Faure. October 
15.' See Document no. 91." 

7 Cf . Articles II, X, and XI of the treaty of the Triple Alliance of May 6, 1891. 
Vol. I, pp. 153, iS7, i59, supra. 


4. Les Etats-Majors des Armees des deux pays se concerte- 
ront en tout temps pour preparer et faciliter 1'execution des 
mesures prevues ci-dessus. 

Us se communiqueront, des le temps de paix, tous les renseigne- 
ments relatifs aux armees de la Triple Alliance qui sont ou par- 
viendront a leur connaissance. 

Les voies et moyens de correspondre en temps de guerre seront 
etudies et prevus d'avance. 

5. La France et la Russie ne concluront pas la paix separe- 
ment. 8 

6. La presente Convention aura la meme duree que la Triple 
Alliance. 9 

7. Toutes les clauses enumerees ci-dessus seront tenues ri- 
goureusement secretes. 10 

Signature du Minis tre: 

Signature du Ministre: 

L'Aide de Camp general, Le General de Division, 

Chef de 1'Etat-Major general, Conseiller d'Etat, 

Signe: Obroutcheff. Sous-Chef d'Etat-Major de 

Signe: Boisdeffre. 


Approval of the Convention. 

M. de Giers, Russian Minister of Foreign A fairs, to M. de 
Montebello, French Ambassador at St. Petersburg. 11 

Saint-Petersbourg, le 15/27 decembre 1893. 

Aprs avoir examine, d'ordre Supreme, le projet de Convention 
militaire elabore par les Etats-majors russe et franc, ais en aout 
1892, et en avoir sound's mon appreciation a TEmpereur, je me 
fais un devoir d'informer Votre Excellence, que le texte de cet 
arrangement, tel qu'il a ete approuve en principe par Sa Majeste 

8 Cf. Article V, par. 2, of the treaty of the Triple Alliance of May 6, 1891. Vol. I, 
p. 155, supra. 

9 The third treaty of the Triple Alliance was signed May 6, 1891, to remain in 
force for a period of six years from the exchange of ratifications, which took place at 
Berlin on May 17. Vol. I, p. 159, supra. 


4. The General Staffs of the Annies of the two countries shall 
cooperate with each other at all times in the preparation and 
facilitation of the execution of the measures above foreseen. 

They shall communicate to each other, while there is still peace, 
all information relative to the armies of the Triple Alliance which 
is or shall be within their knowledge. 

Ways and means of corresponding in times of war shall be 
studied and arranged in advance. 

5. France and Russia shall not conclude peace separately. 8 

6. The present Convention shall have the same duration as the 
Triple Alliance. 9 

7. All the clauses above enumerated shall be kept rigorously 
secret. 10 

Signature of the Minister: 
Signature of the Minister: 
General Aide-de-Camp, General of Division, 

Chief of the General Staff, Councillor of State, 

Signed: Obrucheff. Sub-Chief of the General 

Staff of the Army, 
Signed: Boisdeffre. 


Approval of the Convention. 

M. de GierSj Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to M. de 
Montebello, French Ambassador at St. Petersburg. 11 

St. Petersburg, December 15/27, 1893. 
Very secret. 

After having examined, by Supreme order, the draft of a mili- 
tary convention drawn up by the Russian and French General 
Staffs in August, 1892, and after having submitted my estimate 
thereof to the Emperor, I esteem it my duty to inform Your Ex- 
cellency that the text of this arrangement, as approved in prin- 

10 Cf. Article XII of the third treaty of the Triple Alliance, May 6, 1891. Vol. I, 
p. 159, supra. 

11 Annex to the despatch of M. de Montebello, French Ambassador at St. Peters- 
burg, to M. Casimir PSrier, President of the Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
dated St. Petersburg, December 30, 1893. Documents diplomatique*. Dalliance 

franco-russe, no. 91. 


et signe par MM. 1'Aide de Camp general Obroutcheff etle 
general de division de Boisdeffre, peut etre considere desormais 
comme ayant ete defmitivement adopte dans sa forme actuelle. 
Les deux Etats-Majors auront ainsi la f aculte de se concerter 
en tout temps et de se communiquer reciproquement tous les 
renseignements qui pourraient leur etre u tiles. 12 



OF 1893. 


Count Mouraviejf, Russian Minister of Foreign A fairs, to 
M. Delcasse, French Minister of Foreign Affairs. 13 

Saiht-Petersbourg, le 28 juillet/p aout 1899. 

Les quelques jours que Votre Excellence vient de passer parmi 
nous Lui auront permis, je Pespere, de constater une fois de plus 
la solidite des liens de vive et invariable amitie qui unissent la 
Russie a la France. 

Ann de donner une nouvelle expression a ces sentiments et de 
repondre au desir que Vous avez exprime a Sa Majeste, 1'Em- 
pereur a daigne m'autoriser, Monsieur le Ministre, a Vous pro- 
poser, entre nous, un echange de lettres destinees a etablir que: 

Le Gouvernement Imperial de Russie et le Gouvernement de la 
Republique Franchise, toujours soucieux du maintien de la paix 
generate et de Tequilibre entre les forces europeennes, 

Confirment 1'arrangement diplomatique formule dans la lettre 
du 9/21 aout 1891 de M. de Giers, celle du 15/27 aout 1891 du 
Baron Mohrenheim et la lettre responsive de M. Ribot, portant 
egalement la date du 15/27 aout 1891. 

Us decident que le pro jet de convention militaire, qui en a ete le 
complement et qui se trouve mentionne dans la lettre de M. de 
Giers du 15/27 decembre 1893 et celle de M. le Comte de Monte- 
bello du 23 decembre 1893/4 Janvier 1894, demeurera en vigueur 

12 A note of the same purport, dated at St. Petersburg, December 23, 18937 
January 4, 1894 (ibid., no. 92), from M. de Montebello, French Ambassador at St. 
Petersburg, to M. de Giers, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced to the 


ciple by His Majesty and signed by Aide-de-Camp General 
Obrucheff and General of Division de Boisdeffre, may be re- 
garded henceforth as having been definitively adopted in its 
existing form. The two General Staffs will thus have the 
faculty of taking counsel together at any time and of reciprocally 
communicating any information which might be useful to them. 12 



OF 1893. 


Count Mouravief, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to 
M. Delcasse, French Minister of Foreign Affairs. 13 

St. Petersburg, July 28/ August 9, 1899. 

The few days that Your Excellency has just spent among us 
will, I hope, have permitted you to note once more the solidity of 
the bonds of lively and unchanging friendship which unite Russia 
to France. 

In order to give fresh expression to these sentiments and to 
respond to the desire that you have expressed to His Majesty, the 
Emperor has deigned to authorize me, Mr. Minister, to propose to 
you an exchange of letters between us which shall establish that: 

The Imperial Government of Russia and the Government of 
the French Republic, ever solicitous for the maintenance of the 
general peace and of the European balance of power, 

Confirm the diplomatic arrangement formulated in the letter of 
August 9/21, 1891, of M. de Giers, that of August 15/27, 1891, of 
Baron Mohrenheim, and the letter in reply of M. Ribot, likewise 
bearing the date of August 15/27, 1891. 

They decide that the draft of a military convention which was 
the complement thereof and which is mentioned in the letter of M. 
de Giers of December 15/27, 1893, and that of Count de Monte- 
bello of December 23, i893/ January 4, 1894, shall remain in force 

latter the approval of the Military Convention by the President of the French Re- 
public and by the Ministry. 
13 Ibid., no. 93. 


autant que Paccord diplomatique conclu pour la sauvegarde des 
interets communs et permanents des deux pays. 

Le secret le plus absolu quant a la teneur et a Texistence meme 
desdits arrangements devra etre scrupuleusement observe de part 
et d'autre. 

En Vous adressant cette communication, Monsieur le Ministre, 
je profite de 1'occasion qu'elle m'offre pour Vous renouveler 

1'assurance de ma haute consideration. 

Comte MouraviefT. 

M. Delcasse, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, 
to Count Mouravieff, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia. 1 * 

Saint-Petersbourg, 28 juillet-p aout 1899. 
Monsieur le Ministre, 

Dimanche dernier, quand, avec son agrement, j'eus expose a 
Sa Majeste 1'Empereur mon opinion sur 1'utilite de confirmer 
notre arrangement diplomatique du mois d'aout 1891 et de fixer 
a la Convention militaire qui le suivit la meme duree qu'a cet 
arrangement, Sa Majeste voulut bien me declarer que ses propres 
sentiments repondaient parf aitement aux vues du Gouvernement 
de la Republique. 

Par votre lettre de ce matin, vous me faites 1'honneur de m'in- 
former qu'il a plu a Sa Majeste 1'Empereur d'approuver la for- 
mule suivante qui a, d'autre part, 1'entiere adhesion du President 
de la Republique et du Gouvernement frangais et sur laquelle 
Tentente s'etait prealablement etablie entre Votre Excellence et 

[Here follow the third to the sixth paragraphs, 
inclusive, of the preceding note] 

Je me felicite, M. le Ministre, que ces quelques jours passes a 
Saint-Petersbourg m'aient permis de constater une fois de plus la 
solidite des liens de vive et invariable amitie qui unissent la 
France et la Russie, et je vous prie d'agreer la nouvelle assurance 
de ma haute consideration. Delcasse. 

14 Documents diplomatique*. L' alliance fr anco-russe, no. 94. 


as long as the diplomatic agreement concluded for the safeguard- 
ing of the common and permanent interests of the two countries. 

The most absolute secrecy as to the tenor and even as to the 
existence of the said arrangements must be scrupulously observed 
on either side. 

In addressing this communication to you, Mr. Minister, I avail 
myself of the opportunity it offers me to renew to you the assur- 
ance of my high consideration. 

Count Mouravieff. 

M . Delcasse, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, 
to Count Mouravieff, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia. 1 * 

St. Petersburg, July 28-August 9, 1899. 
Mr. Minister, 

Last Sunday, when, with his consent, I had expressed to His 
Majesty the Emperor my opinion upon the utility of confirming 
our diplomatic arrangement of August, 1891, and of assigning to 
the military Convention which followed it the same duration as to 
the arrangement itself, His Majesty was kind enough to tell me 
that his own sentiments were in complete accord with the views of 
the Government of the Republic. 

By your letter of this morning, you have done me the honor to 
inform me that it has pleased His Majesty the Emperor to ap- 
prove the following formula: which has, moreover, the entire 
adherence of the President of the Republic and of the French 
Government, and on which the understanding was previously 
established between Your Excellency and myself: 

[Here follow the third to the sixth paragraphs, 
inclusive, of the preceding note] 

I congratulate myself, Minister, that these few days spent at 
St. Petersburg have permitted me to note once more the solidity 
of the bonds of lively and unchanging friendship which unite 
France and Russia; and I beg you to accept the fresh assurance of 
my high regard. Delcasse. 



Draft of Naval Convention. 

ARTICLE PREMIER. Les forces navales de la France et de la 
Russie coopereront dans toutes les eventualites ou 1'alliance 
prevoit et stipule Faction combinee des armees de terre. 

ART. 2. La cooperation des forces navales sera preparee des 
le temps de paix. 

A cet effet, les Chefs d'fitat-Major de 1'une et 1'autre Marines 
sont des maintenant autorises a correspondre directement, a 
echanger tous renseignements, a etudier toutes hypotheses de 
guerre, a concerter tous programmes strategiques. 

ART. 3. Les Chefs d'Etat-Major de 1'une et 1'autre Marines 
confereront en personne, une fois Tan au moins; ils dresseront 
proces- verbal de leurs conferences. 

ART. 4. Pour la duree, 1'efficience et le secret, la presente 
Convention est assimilee a la Convention militaire du 17 aout 
1892 et aux accords subsequents. 

Paris, le 1 6 juillet 1912. 

Le Chef d'Etat-Major general Le Chef d'Etat-Major de la 
de la Marine fran^aise, Marine imperiale russe, 

Signe : Aubert. Signe : Prince Lieven. 

Le Ministre de la Marine, Le Ministre de la Marine, 

Sign6: M. Delcasse. Signe: J. Grigorovitch. 


Convention for the Exchange of Information between the 
Russian Navy and the French Navy. 16 

A la suite d'un echange de vues survenu dans le courant du 
mois de juillet 1912, entre M. le Vice-Amiral, Prince Lieven, Chef 
d'fitat-Major general de la Marine imperiale russe, et M. le Vice- 
Amiral Aubert, Chef d'Etat-Major general de la Marine f rangaise, 

18 L' alliance franco-nisse, no. 102. An official note appended says: "The original 
of this document is at the Ministry of Marine." 




Draft of Naval Convention. 

ARTICLE i. The naval forces of France and Russia shall co- 
operate in every eventuality where the alliance contemplates and 
stipulates combined action of the land armies. 

ARTICLE 2. The cooperation of the naval forces shall be pre- 
pared while there is still peace. 

To this end the Chiefs of General Staff of the two Navies are 
authorized from now on to correspond directly, to exchange any 
information, to study all hypotheses of war, to counsel together on 
all strategic problems. 

ARTICLE 3. The Chiefs of General Staff of the two Navies 
shall confer in person at least once a year; they will draw up 
minutes of their conferences. 

ARTICLE 4. As to duration, effectiveness, and secrecy, the 
present Convention is to run parallel to the Military Convention 
of August 17, 1892, and to the subsequent Agreements. 

Paris, July 16, 1912. 

Chief of the General Staff Chief of the General Staff of 

of the French Navy, the Imperial Russian Navy, 

Signed: Aubert. Signed: Prince Lieven. 

Minister of Marine, Minister of Marine, 

Signed: M. Delcasse. Signed: J. Grigorovitch. 

Convention for the Exchange of Information between the 
Russian Navy and the French Navy. 16 

Following an exchange of views that occurred during the 
month of July, 1912, between Vice Admiral Prince Lieven, Chief 
of the General Staff of the Imperial Russian Navy, and Vice 
Admiral Aubert, Chief of the General Staff of the French Navy, 

16 L' alliance franco-russe, no. 103. An official note appended says: "The original 
of this document is at the Ministry of Marine." 


les decisions de principe qui suivent ont ete arretees entre les deux 

i. A partir du 1/14 septembre 1912, le Chef d'Etat-Major 
general de la Marine imperiale russe et le Chef d'Etat-Major 
general de la Marine franchise echangeront tous renseignements 
sur leurs marines respectives et, regulierement tous les mois, par 
ecrit, les renseignements que ces deux pays pourront se procurer; 
le telegraphe chiffre pourra etre employe en certains cas urgents; 

2. Pour eviter toute indiscretion ou toute divulgation relative 
a ces renseignements, il est indispensable d'adopter le precede de 
transmission suivant: 

Toute demande de renseignements sur la Marine franchise, 
interessant la Marine russe, sera adressee par 1'Attache naval 
russe a Paris au Chef d'Etat-Major general de la Marine fran- 
aise; et, reciproquement, toute demande de renseignements sur 
la Marine russe, interessant la Marine franc. aise, sera adressee par 
1'Attache naval frangais a Saint-Petersbourg au Chef d'Etat- 
Major general de la Marine russe. 

Ce procede sera exclusif de tout autre: on ne pourra done pas, 
en principe, demander directement aux Attaches navals des ren- 
seignements sur leur propre Marine. 17 

Paris, le 16 juillet 1912. 

Le Chef d'Etat-Major general Le Chef d'fitat-Major general 
de la Marine franc.aise, de la Marine russe, 

Signe: Aubert. Signe: Prince Lie ven. 

17 M. Sazonoff, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, in a note to M. Raymond 
Poincare*, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, dated at St. Petersburg, August 2/ 
15, 1912, stated that the draft of the convention "has been examined by the Im- 
perial Government and submitted with a favorable opinion to His Majesty the 
Emperor, who has deigned to give it his approval." The next day M. Poincar6 
replied to the effect that "the Government of the Republic gives it its approval." 
L' alliance franco-rttsse, nos. 106, 107. 


the following decisions of principle have been reached between the 
two conferees: 

1. Dating from September 1/14, 1912, the Chief of the General 
Staff of the Imperial Russian Navy and the Chief of the General 
Staff of the French Navy shall exchange all information as to 
their respective navies, and regularly every month, in writing, any 
information which these two countries may obtain; telegraphic 
cipher may be used in certain urgent cases; 

2. In order to avoid any indiscretion or any disclosure relative 
to this information, it is indispensable to adopt the following pro- 
cedure in transmission: 

Any request for information about the French Navy of interest 
to the Russian Navy shall be addressed by the Russian Naval 
Attache at Paris to the Chief of the General Staff of the French 
Navy; and, reciprocally, any reques.t for information about the 
Russian Navy of interest to the French Navy shall be addressed 
by the French Naval Attache at St. Petersburg to the Chief of the 
General Staff of the Russian Navy. 

This procedure will be exclusive of all other. In principle, 
therefore, a direct request is not to be made to the Naval At- 
taches for information respecting their own Navies. 17 

Paris, July 16, 1912. 

Chief of the General Staff Chief of the General Staff of the 

of the French Navy, Imperial Russian Navy, 

Signed: Aubert. Signed: Prince Lieven. 



THROUGHOUT the history of the Triple Alliance, the states which 
composed it indulged, sometimes with and sometimes without the 
knowledge and consent of their partners, in flirtations with other 
powers. At the outset one reason why Italy was obliged to sue for 
admission almost in forma pauperis was that, thanks to the re- 
cently formed League of the Three Emperors, of which she knew 
nothing, neither Germany or Austria felt pressing need of her 
friendship. By 1887, however, when the question of the renewal of 
the Alliance came up, this League had dissolved; Italy was there- 
fore able to obtain better terms for herself. As for the various 
subsidiary agreements concluded by individual members of the 
Alliance with such humbler friends as Serbia or with neutral 
states like England and Spain, they were agreeable to all, for 
they represented a continuation of the same policy, and none of 
them were with powers regarded as possible enemies. But Bis- 
marck's famous ' Reinsurance ' treaty with Russia was a different 
matter. Not only its terms but its very existence were kept care- 
fully secret from Germany's closest ally. When some years after 
its expiration the fact that there had been such a treaty was re- 
vealed to the world, the disclosure created an uncomfortable im- 
pression in Germany and a painful one in Austria. 

1 Ministere des affaires etrangeres. Documents diplomatiques. Les accords franco- 
italiens de 1900-1902. Paris, Imprimerie nationale, 1920. The essential texts of 
this Yellow Book were published in Le Temps of December 29, 1919. 

An Italian Green Book, Accordi italo-francesi (1000-1002) (Rome, 1920), con- 
tains several of the texts; as does also Professor Edgard Rouard de Card's Accords 
secrets entre la France et I' Italic concernant le Maroc et la Lybie (Paris, 1921). The 
latter work includes further (p. 50) the exchange of notes respecting Libya and 
Morocco in 1912 (see p. 256, infra, and note 18), and (p. 51) "Declaration signed le 
9 mars 1916, entre la France et 1'Italie, relative a la suppression des Capitulations 
dans la zone francaise de PEmpire cherifien." 



In the quieter times that followed after the Dual Alliance had 
been formed and a balance of power established, conventions 
concerning particular subjects between separate members of the 
two great leagues were not uncommon; but though legitimate in 
themselves, they sometimes affected the relations of the partners 
to one another. The agreement reached in 1897 2 between 
Austria and Russia in regard to Balkan affairs, supplemented by 
that of Miirzsteg in 1903, was an instance of the sort. Valuable 
as it might be to the peace of Europe by diminishing Austrian 
and Russian rivalry, it was looked at askance by Italy, who feared 
that Austria, secure on the side of Russia if not actually co- 
operating with her, might push with greater vigor interests and 
ambitions conflicting with Italian ones. 

Meanwhile Italy herself, after years of estrangement from 
France, was drawing closer again. She was within her rights in so 
doing. Her allies could raise no objections to her bringing to an 
end in 1898 the tariff war between the two, which had done much 
harm to both countries, nor could they in 1900 object to her mak- 
ing a pact according to which she agreed not to oppose French 
aims in Morocco, in return for a similar promise by France in re- 
gard to Italian projects in Tripoli. Germany and Austria had 
already virtually approved of these projects in the existing treaty 
of the Triple Alliance. The terms of this Franco-Italian agree- 
ment were not published, and could not well be as long as either 
country remained on friendly terms with Turkey, the then legiti- 
mate possessor of Tripoli; but there was little concealment as to 
the fact of its existence, and none at all as to the reestablishment 
of good relations between France and Italy, a reestablishment 
which was welcomed by public opinion in both countries. 

Displeasing as this new friendship might be to the allies of Italy 
and especially to Germany, they still were anxious to maintain the 
Triple Alliance. As the Italian government likewise desired to 
maintain it, it was renewed on June 28, 1902. But both sides had 
taken their precautions. On June i the Austro-German Alliance 
of 1879 had been indefinitely prolonged; 3 and on June 4 the Italian 
foreign minister, Prinetti, had informed the French that "in the 
8 Vol. I, supra, pp. 184-195. * Vol. I, pp. 216-219. 


renewal of the Triple Alliance, there is nothing directly or in- 
directly aggressive toward France, no engagement in any eventu- 
ality binding us to take part in an aggression against her, finally 
no stipulation which menaces the security and tranquillity of 
France." They were also told that "the protocols or additional 
conventions to the Triple Alliance, of which there has been much 
talk of late, and which would alter its completely defensive char- 
acter, and which would even have an aggressive character against 
France, do not exist." 

The " talk" of additional protocols may have owed its origin to 
the provisions, inserted in the treaty of 1887 as a separate docu- 
ment, by which Germany bound herself not only to support the 
territorial status quo in North Africa, but in case of war to favor 
Italian annexation of French territory. Since 1891 these provi- 
sions were safely imbedded in Articles IX-XI of the main treaty. 

More important, however, than Prinetti's statement of June 4 
was the exchange between him and the French ambassador to 
Rome, Barrere, on November i, of notes in which, after repeating 
their promises in regard to Tripoli tania and Morocco, they de- 
clared, among other things: 

"In case France [Italy] should be the object of a direct or in- 
direct aggression on the part of one or more powers, Italy [France] 
will maintain a strict neutrality. 

"The same shall hold good in case France [Italy], as the result 
of a direct provocation, should find herself compelled, in the de- 
fence of her honor or of her security, to take the initiative of a 
declaration of war ... I am authorized further to confirm to 
you that on the part of Italy [France] no protocol or military pro- 
vision in the nature of an international contract which would be 
in disagreement with the present declarations exists or will be con- 
cluded by her." 

With the recent publication of these papers, we are now for the 
first time able to appreciate the full difficulty of the position in 
which Italy found herself three years later, during the Moroccan 
dispute of 1905-06, and especially at the Conference of Algeciras. 
When matters there came to a vote, she took the side of France, 


to the great anger of the Germans, who, however, did not think 
it politic to display their resentment. In spite, too, of a later 
cooling off of Franco-Italian friendship, and in spite of the re- 
newal of the Triple Alliance in 1912, the promises exchanged in 
1902 continued to be regarded as binding. This is shown by the 
reference to them in the exchange of notes in October, 1912, by 
which Italy and France, now that they were in possession of the 
coveted territories in Morocco and Tripolitania, undertook to re- 
frain from "putting any obstacle in the way of the realization 
of all measures they shall deem it opportune to enact." This 
promise may still be useful some day, at least to France. It is 
perhaps difficult to reconcile the clause about "no protocol or 
military provision" in the notes of December, 1902, with the 
German- Austrian-Italian naval agreement of 1913 and its specific 
provisions as to just how and where the French Mediterranean 
fleet was to be attacked in the event of hostilities. 

Finally, we can see that the clause about "direct or indirect 
aggression" furnished France with a strong claim for Italian neu- 
trality in 1914, when Germany, without waiting for a hostile act 
or declaration on her part, launched an ultimatum at her as well 
as at Russia and precipitated the World War. 

A. C. C. 



M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, 

to M. Poincare, President of the Council, Minister 

of Foreign Ajfairs.* 

Rome, le 10 mars 1912. 

Les incidents recents qui se sont produits entre la France et 
Tltalie, les polemiques de presse auxquelles ils ont donne lieu, ont 
rappele 1'attention sur les rapports franco-italiens et reveille 
certaines curiosites a 1'egard des accords qui en sont la base et 
dont 1'existence seule est connue avec precision du public. J'ai eu 
1'occasion d'indiquer a Votre Excellence, sur une question qu'elle 
a bien voulu me poser, dans quelle mesure on pouvait, selon moi, 
expliquer publiquement la valeur et la portee de ces accords, et 
plus particulierement de celui qui porte les dates des i et 2 
novembre 1902. 

II m'a paru qu'il etait opportun de rappeler les conditions dans 
lesquelles ce dernier accord a ete conc.u, negocie et conclu par la 
Diplomatic franchise. Get examen, qui resumera des pourparlers 
longs et souvent delicats, donnera au Departement 1'occasion 
d'embrasser par une vue d'ensemble le but poursuivi; il lui per- 
mettra en outre, en replafant 1'instrument diplomatique dont il 
s'agit dans les circonstances qui Font fait naitre, de lui attribuer 
son sens exact, tant en ce qui nous concerne qu'en ce qui touche 
la position qu'il a f aite au Royaume dans la Triple alliance et par 
consequent dans la situation politique internationale. 

Sans remonter trop loin dans le passe, on peut assigner pour 
point de depart aux pourparlers qui devaient aboutir en 1902 a 
1'accord secret la situation creee entre la France et 1'Italie par la 
visite que fit a Toulon, au prin temps de 1901, 1'escadre italienne 
commandee par le Due de Genes. A ce moment, le rapproche- 
ment franco-italien etait un fait accompli. Les negociations rela- 
tives a la Tunisie, 1'arrangement commercial, la delimitation des 
possessions des deux pays dans la Mer Rouge, enfin 1'accord 

4 Les accords franco-italiens de 1900-1902, no. n, pp. 11-14. 



M . Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, 

to M. Poincare, President of the Council, Minister 

of Foreign AJfairs. 4 

Rome, March 10, 1912. 

The recent incidents which have occurred between France and 
Italy, the press polemics to which they have given rise, have 
called attention to Franco-Italian relations and have awakened 
certain curiosities in regard to the understandings upon which 
they are based and of which the existence only is definitely known 
to the public. I have had occasion tx> indicate to Your Excel- 
lency, in reply to a question which you were kind enough to put 
to me, in what measure, in my opinion, the value and scope of 
these understandings, and more particularly of the one which 
bears the dates of November i and 2, 1902, could be publicly 

It seemed to me that it was opportune to recall the condi- 
tions under which this last agreement was conceived, negotiated, 
and concluded by French diplomacy. This examination, which 
will summarize long and often delicate conferences, will give the 
Department the opportunity to comprehend in a single survey 
the object pursued; it will moreover permit it, by placing the dip- 
lomatic instrument in question back in the circumstances which 
gave it birth, to assign to it its exact sense both as respects our- 
selves and as regards the position into which it has put the King- 
dom in the Triple Alliance and consequently in the international 
political situation. 

Without going too far back into the past, we may assign, as the 
point of departure for the conferences which were to result in 1902 
in the secret agreement, the situation created between France and 
Italy by the visit which the Italian squadron commanded by the 
Duke of Genoa paid to Toulon in the spring of 1901. At that time 
the Franco-Italian rapprochement was an accomplished fact. 
The negotiations relative to Tunisia, the settlement in com- 
mercial matters, the delimitation of the possessions of the two 
countries on the Red Sea, and finally the agreement relative to 


relatif a la Tripoli taine et au Maroc, intervenu en decembre 1900, 
en avaient marque les etapes. Ce dernier protocole etait secret. 
Mais si on en ignorait le texte, on en connaissait 1'existence. II 
etait desormais avere que la France et 1'Italie avaient dissipe 
entre elles les causes de trouble et de malaise, mis fin a la rivalite 
mediterraneenne en definissant leurs interets respectifs. II leur 
restait, sur ce dernier point, un pas de plus a faire en precisant 
leurs interets a Tripoli et au Maroc, et en arnrmant, d'une f agon 
plus nette, leur desinteressement mutuel dans le sens indique par 
Faccord negocie avec le Marquis Visconti Venosta. C'etait un 
des legitimes desirs de la politique italienne que d'arriver a cette 
entente complementaire. La diplomatie franchise, qui le desirait 
de son cote, pour ce qui concerne le Maroc, jugeait qu'au mo- 
ment d'engager la conversation, il y avait lieu de s'expliquer 
en toute amitie concernant 1'avenir des relations des deux pays. 
Le present etait satisfaisant. Toutefois, 1'existence de la Triple 
alliance lui donnait un caractere precaire. Pour assurer aux 
bons rapports retablis une stabilite qui leur conferat tout leur 
prix, il f allait eclaircir le point de savoir si la Triplice etait, sous 
la forme qu'elle possedait alors, compatible avec 1'amitie franco- 

En 1901, la Triple Alliance n'etait plus ce qu'elle fut a ses de- 
buts. Le texte meme du traite portant la signature de ITtalie 
n'avait pas ete modifie. L'alliance demeurait defensive. Mais 
elle permettait une interpretation tres large des devoirs des Allies: 
si la France, ouvertement provoquee, declarait la guerre, I'ltalie 
pouvait-elle considerer cette declaration comme un acte defensif 
de notre part? C'etait douteux. Bien plus, rien ne I'empechait 
de depasser le texte meme du traite, si elle jugeait que son inter^t 
politique le lui commandait. 

C'est la connaissance de cet etat de choses qui amenait le De- 
partement et cette ambassade a conclure que, sous des dehors 
defensifs, la Triple alliance comportait un caractere eventuelle- 
ment offensif qu'il convenait de faire disparaitre dans 1'interet de 
notre securite et des rapports d'amitie entre les deux pays. C'est 
dans cette voie que s'engagerent les conversations, poursuivies 


Tripolitania and Morocco reached in December, 1900, had marked 
its stages. This last protocol was secret. But if its text was unre- 
vealed, its existence was known. It was henceforth established 
that France and Italy had dispelled from between them the 
causes of trouble and uneasiness, and put an end to Mediter- 
ranean rivalry by denning their respective interests. On this last 
point there remained a further step for them to take by denning 
their interests in Tripoli and in Morocco, and by affirming more 
clearly their mutual disinterestedness in the sense indicated in 
the agreement negotiated with Marquis Visconti-Venosta. It 
was one of the legitimate desires of Italian policy to arrive at this 
complementary understanding. French diplomacy, which on its 
part desired this so far as concerned Morocco, deemed that at the 
moment of beginning the conversation there was need of making 
in all friendliness mutual explanations concerning the future of 
the relations between the two countries. The present was satis- 
factory. The existence, however, of the Triple Alliance made its 
character precarious. In order to assure to the reestablished good 
relations a stability which should confer upon them their full 
value, it was necessary to clear up the point of knowing whether 
the Triple Alliance was, under the form which it then possessed, 
compatible with Franco-Italian friendship. 

In 1901, the Triple Alliance was no longer what it was at its 
beginning. The actual text of the Treaty bearing the signature of 
Italy had not been modified. The Alliance remained defensive. 
But it permitted a very broad interpretation of the duties of the 
Allies: if France, openly provoked, should declare war, could 
Italy regard this declaration as a defensive step on our part? It 
was doubtful. What is more, nothing prevented her from going 
beyond the actual text of the Treaty, if she should judge that her 
political interests demanded it of her. 

It is the knowledge of this state of affairs which led the De- 
partment and this Embassy to conclude that, under defensive 
appearances, the Triple Alliance implied an eventually offen- 
sive character, which ought to be got rid of in the interest of 
our security and of the relations of friendship between the two 
countries. It is along this line that conversations, pursued in 


parallelement, a Paris par M. Delcasse avec 1'ambassadeur 
d'ltalie, et a Rome par moi-meme avec M. Prinetti. Celui-ci, en 
butte d'ailleurs a des attaques allemandes, en vue de Pexpiration 
prochaine du traite, etait neanmoins porte a prendre une orienta- 
tion definitive du c6te de la France ou le poussaient ses sympa- 
thies personnelles et une conception tres haute de 1'avenir de son 
pays. Encourage par des partisans declares de 1'amitie franco- 
italienne, tels que MM. Luzzatti et Rattazzi, aussi par les senti- 
ments bien connus de M. Zanardelli, president du conseil, par 
1'appui qu'il recevait de M. Giolitti, minis tre de 1'interieur, par 
les exhortations du Marquis di Rudini, tres penetre de la neces- 
site d'etablir sur une base solide les rapports politiques generaux 
des deux pays en les consacrant par un accord mutuel, et par 
Pattitude du Baron Sonnino qui, des rangs de 1'opposition, con- 
seillait la consolidation des bons rapports avec la France, le 
Ministre des Affaires etrangeres affermit sa position et fut en 
mesure de causer avec moi de ce qui restait a faire pour etablir 
une confiance mutuelle. 

Le moment approchait d'ailleurs ou la question allait devenir 
brulante. Un an s'etait ecoule depuis nos premiers entretiens. 
M. Prinetti devait se rencontrer a Venise avec M. de Billow, ils 
parleraient certainement du renouvellement de Falliance. Dans 
une conversation que j'eus avec lui au mois de mars 1902, il aborda 
nettement le sujet. M. Prinetti ne croyait pas possible de modi- 
fier le texte meme du traite. II se declarait par centre pret a nous 
donner des assurances de nature a ne laisser aucun doute dans 
no tre esprit sur le caractere et sur la portee de cet acte. II vou- 
drait, disait-il; pouvoir nous le communiquer, mais cela lui sera 
impossible parce que la Triple Alliance porte sur d'autres points 
qui ne nous interessent ni ne nous touchent. D'ailleurs ce n'est 
pas expressement dans le texte proprement dit du traite que 
figurait ce dont la France avait le droit de se preoccuper; c'etait 
dans les actes annexes: "Ceux-la, ajoutait-il, devaient tomber et 
disparaitre, car ils visaient des conjunctures qui ne pouvaient 
plus se produire." 


parallel fashion, were entered into at Paris by M. Delcasse with 
the Ambassador of Italy, and at Rome by myself with M. 
Prinetti. The latter, exposed from the other side to German at- 
tacks in view of the expiration of the Treaty, was nevertheless 
inclined to take the side of France, to which his personal sym- 
pathies and a very high conception of the future of his country 
impelled him. Encouraged by declared partisans of Franco- 
Italian friendship, such as MM. Luzzatti and Rattazzi, as also by 
the well known sentiments of M. Zanardelli, President of the 
Council, by the support which he received from M. Giolitti, 
Minister of the Interior, by the exhortations of the Marquis di 
Rudini, who was strongly imbued with a sense of the necessity of 
establishing on a solid basis the general political relations of the 
two countries by consecrating them through a mutual agreement, 
and by the attitude of Baron Sonnino, who from the ranks of the 
Opposition counselled the strengthening of good relations with 
France, the Minister of Foreign Affairs took a stronger stand and 
was in a position to talk with me of what remained to be done in 
order to establish mutual confidence. 

The moment, moreover, was approaching when the question 
was going to become a burning one. A year had elapsed since our 
first conversations. M. Prinetti was to have a meeting at Venice 
with Herr von Billow; they would certainly speak of the renewal 
of the Alliance. In a conversation I had with him in the month of 
March, 1902, he specifically broached the subject. M. Prinetti 
did not believe it possible to modify the actual text of the Treaty. 
He declared himself ready, on the other hand, to give us assur- 
ances of a nature to leave no doubt in our mind as to the character 
and as to the scope of this document. He wished, he said, that he 
could communicate it to us, but this would be impossible for him, 
because the Triple Alliance bears upon other points which do not 
interest or affect us. Moreover, it was not expressly in the text of 
the Treaty, properly speaking, that the thing figured with which 
France had a right to be concerned; it was in the documents 
annexed. "These/' he added, "must fall and disappear, for they 
looked forward to conjunctures which could no longer occur." 


En rapportant au Departement cette interessante conversation, 
j'indiquais qu'elle ouvrait la porte a une negotiation et a une 
entente. De son cote, M. Delcasse saisissait Poccasion d'un en- 
tretien avec le Comte Tornielli pour prendre acte des declara- 
tions de M. Prinetti, relatives au renouvellement eventuel de la 
Triple Alliance, et lui indiquer que seule 1'execution des assu- 
rances qu'il nous avait donnees pouvait assurer aux relations des 
deux pays un long et fecond avenir. 

Sur ces entrefaites eut lieu Fentrevue de Venise, au cours de 
laquelle M. Prinetti essay a d'amener le Prince de Billow a modi- 
fier le texte du traite. Le Chancelier ne 1'ayant pas suivi dans 
cette voie, M. Prinetti n'insista point. 5 II lui apparaissait desor- 
mais que c'etait dans une entente directe avec nous qu'il devait 
trouver le moyen de fixer a notre endroit 1'interpretation que 
Fltalie entendait donner a ses obligations d'alliee. Eut-il reussi 
d'ailleurs qu'il ne pouvait nous suffire d'avoir communication du 
texte ainsi modifie; il etait necessaire qu'un engagement ecrit 
mutuel nous donnat la certitude que le gouvernement italien 
n'entendrait pas modifier a nouveau la clause ainsi restreinte. II 
fut bientot decide entre M. Prinetti et moi que le moment etait 
venu d'aborder la discussion sur 1'accord a intervenir, et j'allai a 
Paris m'entendre a ce sujet avec M. Delcasse. Sur ces entrefaites, 
comme le prochain renouvellement de la Triplice devenait de 
notoriete publique, M. Prinetti, sans attendre que nos accords 
eussent ete conclus, crut devoir charger le Comte Tornielli de 
faire au Ministre des Affaires etrangeres de la Republique une 
declaration de nature a rassurer le gouvernement f rancais sur les 
dispositions de 1'Italie envers notre pays. Cette demarche avait 
pour effet de permettre a M. Delcasse de pouvoir, sans en divul- 
guer le texte qui devait rester secret, eclairer le Parlement sur la 
portee du renouvellement de 1'alliance en faisant allusion a une 
declaration spontanee du gouvernement royal ayant pour but de 
nous rassurer a cet egard. 6 Votre Excellence connait cet impor- 
tant document qui determine la valeur purement defensive de la 
Triplice a notre egard et qui constate " qu'il n'existe point" de 
protocole ou conventions annexes de nature a alterer ce caractere. 
6 Cf. pp. 127 ff., supra. Cf. p. 133, supra. 


In reporting this interesting conversation to the Department, I 
indicated that it would open the door to a negotiation and to an 
understanding. On his side, M. Delcasse seized the occasion of an 
interview with Count Tornielli to take note of the declarations of 
M. Prinetti relative to the eventual renewal of the Triple Alli- 
ance, and to indicate to him that only the execution of the assur- 
ances which he had given us could assure to the relations of the 
two countries a long and fruitful future. 

Hereupon, the interview of Venice took place, in the course of 
which M. Prinetti tried to bring Prince von Billow to modify the 
text of the Treaty. The Chancellor not having followed him in 
this path, M. Prinetti did not insist. 5 It appeared to him thence- 
forth that it was in a direct understanding with us that he should 
find the means of fixing the interpretation with regard to us 
which Italy intended to give to her obligations as an ally. More- 
over, had he succeeded, he could not have satisfied us by having 
the text thus modified communicated to us; it was necessary that 
a mutual written engagement should give us the certainty that 
the Italian Government would not undertake to modify anew the 
clause thus restricted. It was soon decided between M. Prinetti 
and myself that the moment had come to take up the discussion of 
the agreement, which was to come about, and I went to Paris to 
reach an understanding on this subject with M. Delcasse. Here- 
upon, as the approaching renewal of the Triple Alliance was be- 
coming a matter of public notoriety, M. Prinetti, without waiting 
for our agreements to be concluded, felt impelled to instruct 
Count Tornielli to make to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the 
Republic a declaration of a nature to reassure the French Govern- 
ment concerning the dispositions of Italy towards our country. 
This step had the effect of enabling M. Delcasse, without divulg- 
ing its text, which must remain secret, to enlighten the Parlia- 
ment as to the scope of the renewal of the Alliance by alluding to a 
spontaneous declaration of the Royal Government intended to 
reassure us in this respect. 6 Your Excellency is acquainted with 
this important document, which determines the purely defensive 
value of the Triple Alliance as respects us, and which records 
"that there does not exist" any protocol or annexed conventions 


La declaration visait le renouvellement et non le passe. Si done 
des actes annexes inquietants pour nous avaient existe, ils ve- 
naient de disparaitre. 

A mon retour a Rome, je repris les negotiations avec M. 
Prinetti. Elles devaient aboutir bientot apres. La forme de 
lettres qu'a revetue cet accord a ete choisie pour ne pas donner a 
cet acte le caractere d'un contre-traite. L'ltalie ne prenait, il est 
vrai, aucun engagement en contradiction avec ses alliances. Nous 
ne le lui avions jamais demande. M. Prinetti a toujours affirme 
que 1'accord franco-italien devait etre en harmonie avec les alli- 
ances telles qu'il les a renouvelees, et sans protocoles militaires. 
L'accord ne contredit nullement les devoirs de PItalie. II se 
borne a en preciser le caractere. Ce faisant, le Gouvernement 
italien n'a pas contrevenu a ses engagements envers ses allies; il 
les a definis en ce qui nous concerne, en les interpretant dans 
1'esprit qui convenait a ses relations d'amitie avec nous; il a 
elimine toute equivoque sur le caractere defensif de 1'alliance par 
la definition du cas de provocation. En meme temps, il s'est 
interdit de modifier a son gre, d'elargir dans 1'avenir cette inter- 
pretation dans un sens defavorable a notre egard, sans que nous 
en fussions avertis et sous les conditions que determinent les 
lettres echangees entre M. Prinetti et moi. 

D 'apres le texte des deux principales lettres datees du i er 
novembre, c'est le Gouvernement italien qui a pris rinitiative de 
nous interpeller, ma lettre etant une reponse a la sienne. Par 
contre, dans les lettres interpretatives de la provocation directe, 
c'est nous qui avons pris 1'initiative de demander au Gouverne- 
ment italien de la preciser. 

Enfin les lettres datees du i er novembre debutaient par des 
declarations relatives au Maroc et a la Tripolitaine. Ce n'etait 
pas sans raison qu'on avait rattache ces questions a 1'interpreta- 
tion de la Triple Alliance. On avait voulu justifier cette interpre- 
tation par rimportance qu'avait pour les deux pays ce reglement 
de leurs interets mediterraneens. Ainsi s'expliquait pour 1'Italie 
le motif qui 1'avait amenee a nous donner des assurances sur son 
attitude en cas de guerre franco-allemande. L'accord n'est pas, 


of a nature to alter this character. The declaration looked to the 
renewal and not to the past. If, therefore, there had existed an- 
nexed documents disturbing to us, they had just disappeared. 

On my return to Rome, I resumed the negotiations with M. 
Prinetti. They were soon to be concluded. The form of letters 
which covered this agreement was chosen in order not to give to 
this document the character of a counter-treaty. Italy took, it 
is true, no engagement in contradiction with her Alliances. We 
had never asked it of her. M. Prinetti always asserted that the 
Franco-Italian agreement must be in harmony with the Alli- 
ances, as he renewed them, and without military protocols. The 
agreement is in no way contradictory to the obligations of Italy. 
It confines itself to defining their character. In doing this, the 
Italian Government did not contravene its engagements to- 
wards its Allies; it defined them as regards us by interpreting 
them in a spirit suitable to its relations of friendship with us; it 
eliminated all ambiguity as to the defensive character of the Alli- 
ance by its definition of an act of provocation. At the same time, 
it precluded itself from modifying at will, from enlarging in the 
future, this interpretation in a sense unfavorable to us, without 
our being advised thereof under the conditions which the letters 
exchanged between M. Prinetti and myself determine. 

According to the text of the two principal letters dated Novem- 
ber i, it is the Italian Government which took the initiative of 
putting the question to us, my letter being a reply to its own. 
On the other hand, in the letters interpretative of a direct provo- 
cation, it is we who took the initiative of asking the Italian Gov- 
ernment to define it. 

Finally, the letters dated November i began by declarations 
relative to Morocco and Tripoli tania. It was not without reason 
that these questions had been brought together with the interpre- 
tation of the Triple Alliance. It had been desired to justify this 
interpretation by the importance which this adjustment of their 
Mediterranean interests had for the two countries. Thus as re- 
gards Italy the motive was explained which had led her to give us 
assurances about her attitude in case of a Franco- German war. 


je Pai dit, un contre-traite, mais il est une contre-partie de la 

A 1'heure actuelle, apres environ dix ans d'existence, quelle 
place occupent les accords de 1902 dans la politique franco- 
italienne? II resulte de ce qui precede que leur valeur est plus 
precieuse pour nous que jamais. Le texte en est si pressant, si 
formel, qu'il ne laisse place qu'a un minimum d'interpretation. 
Avant 1902, il pouvait suffire de mesintelligences serieuses pour 
faire poser de ce cote-ci des Alpes la question de 1'interpretation 
ou de la modification des Alliances dans un sens perilleux. 

Telles sont, Monsieur le President du Conseil, les considera- 
tions qui decoulent d'un examen attentif de nos engagements 
mutuels de 1900-1902. 

J'ai a m'excuser d'en avoir rendu Penonciation un peu longue, 
mais il m'a semble qu'elles meritaient d'etre mises en lumiere. 




M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, 

to His Excellency the Marquis Visconti-Venosta, 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy. 1 

Rome, 14 decembre 1900. 

A la suite de la conclusion entre la France et la Grande-Bre- 
tagne de la Convention du 21 mars i899, 8 mon Gouvernement, 
repondant a votre honorable predecesseur, eut 1'occasion de lui 
dormer, par mon intermediate, des eclaircissements de nature a 
dissiper toute equivoque sur la portee de cet instrument. 

7 Les accords franco-italiens de 1900-1902, p. 3, annex i to no. i, which is a de- 
spatch from M. Barrere to M. Delcasse, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, dated at 
Rome, January 10, 1901. Also Accordi italo-francesi, p. i, no. i; Accords secrets, 

P- 45- 

8 The documents referred to here and subsequently are: Convention between the 
United Kingdom and France for the delimitation of their respective possessions to 
the west of the Niger, and of their respective possessions and spheres of influence to 
the east of that river, signed at Paris, June 14, 1898; together with a declaration 


The agreement is not, I have said, a counter-treaty, but it is a 
counterpart of the Triple Alliance. 

At the present hour, after about ten years of existence, what 
place do the agreements of 1902 occupy in Franco-Italian policy? 
It follows from the above that their value is more precious for us 
than ever. The text is so cogent, so explicit, that it leaves room 
only for a minimum of interpretation. Before 1902 it could have 
produced serious misunderstandings to raise on this side of the 
Alps the question of the interpretation or of the modification of 
the Alliance in a dangerous sense. 

Such are, Mr. President of the Council, the considerations 
which spring from a careful examination of our mutual engage- 
ments of 1900-1902. 

I must excuse myself for having made the exposition of them a 
little lengthy, but it has seemed to me that they deserve to be 



M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, 

to His Excellency the Marquis Visconti-Venosta, 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy. 1 

Rome, December 14, 1900. 

Following the conclusion of the convention of March 21," 1899,* 
between France and Great Britain, my Government, replying to 
your honorable predecessor, had the opportunity to give him 
through me explanations of a nature to dissipate all ambiguity as 
to the scope of that instrument. 

completing the same, signed at London, March 21, 1899. They are to be found 
textually in Parliamentary Papers, 1899, cix,p. 837 (c. 9334); de Clercq, Recueil des 
Traites de la France, xxxi, p. 386; British and Foreign State Papers, vol. 91, pp. 38, 
109, no; vol. 99, p. 55; Nouveau Recueil General de Traites, 2* se"rie, xxix, pp. 116, 
387; xxx, pp. 249, 264. The conventions of 1898 and 1899 were issued in French 
Yellow Books in those years. 


Depuis, Votre Excellence a exprime 1'avis que ces assurances, 
reiterees d'une maniere plus explicite, contribueraient a affermir 
les bons rapports entre nos deux pays. 

J'ai ete, en consequence, autorise par le Ministre des Affaires 
etrangeres a faire connaitre a Votre Excellence, en raison des 
relations amicales qui ont ete etablies entre la France et 1'Italie, 
et dans la pensee que cette explication conduira a les ameliorer 
encore, que la Convention du 21 mars 1899, en laissant en dehors 
du partage d'influence qu'elle sanctionne le vilayet de Tripoli, 
marque pour la sphere d'influence franchise, par rapport a la 
Tripolitaine Cyrenaique, 9 une limite que la Gouvernement de la 
Republique n'a pas Fintention de depasser et qu'il n'entre pas 
dans ses projets d'intercepter les communications caravanieres 
de Tripoli avec les regions visees par la susdite convention. 

Ces explications, que nous sommes convenus de tenir secretes, 
contribueront, je n'en doute pas, a consolider, sur ce point comme 
sur d'autres, les relations amicales entre nos deux pays. 



Marquis Visconti-Venosta, Minister of Foreign Affairs 

of Italy, to M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French 

Republic at Rome. 10 

Rome, le 16 decembre 1900. 

La situation actuelle dans la Mediterranee et les eventualites 
qui s'y pourraient produire ont forme entre nous 1'objet d'un 
echange amical d'idees, nos deux gouvernements etant egalement 
animes du desir d'ecarter, a cet egard aussi, tout ce qui serait 
susceptible de compromettre, dans le present et dans Tavenir, la 
bonne entente mutuelle. 

En ce qui concerne plus particulierement le Maroc, il est res- 
sorti de nos entretiens que Faction de la France a pour but d'ex- 

9 Cf. Article IX of the third treaty of the Triple Alliance of May 6, 1891, Vol. I, 
p. 157, and the negotiations on the subject of the territories mentioned, pp. 99 ff., 


Since then, Your Excellency has expressed the opinion that 
these assurances, reiterated in a more explicit manner, would 
contribute to strengthen the good relations between our two 

Consequently, I have been authorized by the Minister of For- 
eign Affairs to inform Your Excellency, in view of the friendly 
relations which have been established between France and Italy, 
and in the belief that this explanation will conduce further to im- 
prove them, that the Convention of March 21, 1899, while leaving 
the vilayet of Tripoli outside of the partition of influence which it 
sanctions, marks for the French sphere of influence, in relation to 
Tripolitania-Cyrenaica, 9 a limit which the Government of the 
Republic has not the intention of exceeding; and that it does not 
enter into its plans to interrupt communications by caravan from 
Tripoli with the regions contemplated by the aforesaid conven- 

These explanations, which we are agreed to keep secret, will 
contribute, I have no doubt, to strengthen, on this as upon other 
points, the friendly relations between our two countries. 


Marquis Visconti-Venosta, Minister of Foreign A fairs 

0} Italy, to M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French 

Republic at Rome. 10 

Rome, December 16, 1900. 

The present situation in the Mediterranean and the eventuali- 
ties which might occur there have been the subject of a friendly 
interchange of ideas between us, our two Governments being 
equally animated by the desire to eliminate, in this respect also, 
everything that would be susceptible of compromising, in the 
present and in the future, their mutual good understanding. 

So far as concerns Morocco more particularly, it appeared from 
our conversations that the action of France has as its purpose 

10 Les accords franco-italiens de 1 900-1 $02, PP- 3 f-, annex ii to no. i; Accordi 
italo-francesi, p. i, no. 2; Accords secrets, p. 46. 


ercer et de sauvegarder les droits qui resultant pour elle du voisi- 
nage de son territoire avec cet Empire. 

Ainsi definie, j'ai reconnu qu'une pareille action n'est pas a nos 
yeux de nature a porter atteinte aux interets de 1'Italie comme 
puissance mediterraneenne. 

II a e* te entendu egalement que, s'il en devait resulter une mo- 
dification de 1'etat politique ou territorial du Maroc, 1'Italie se 
reserverait, par mesure de reciprocite, le droit de developper even- 
tuellement son influence par rapport a la Tripoli taine Cyrenaique. 

Ces explications, que nous sommes convenus de tenir secretes, 
contribueront, je n'en doute pas, a consolider les relations amicales 
entre nos deux pays. 

Visconti Venosta. 



JUNE 4, 1902. u 

Count Tornielli } Italian Ambassador at Paris, to M. 
Prinetti, Minister of Foreign A/airs of Italy. 

Parigi, 4 giugno 1902. 
Signor Ministro, 

Ho Ponore di inviare qui acclusa a Vostra Eccellenza copia della 
dichiarazione che ho oggi rilasciata a questo signer Ministro degli 
affari esteri, giusta la istruzione di lei, circa il nessun pericolo che 
presenta per la Francia il rinnovamento della Triplice Alleanza, 
perche da essa e escluso quanto direttamente o indirettamente 
possa essere aggressive contro la Francia stessa. 

II signor Delcasse mi espresse la piu profonda riconoscenza del 
Governo francese per questa alta prova di lealta che il Governo 
del Re dava della sua politica di pace. 

G. Tornielli. 

11 Les accords franco-italiens de 1900-1902, no. 4 (contains (6) and (c)); Accordi 
italo-francesi, p. 2, no. 3 (contains (a) and (c)). 


the exercise and the safeguarding of the rights which are the result 
for her of the proximity of her territory with that Empire. 

So denned, I recognized that such action is not in our view of 
a nature to prejudice the interests of Italy as a Mediterranean 

It was likewise understood that, if a modification of the politi- 
cal or territorial status of Morocco should result therefrom, Italy 
would reserve to herself, as a measure of reciprocity, the right 
eventually to develop her influence with regard to Tripolitania- 

These explanations, which we are agreed to keep secret, will 
contribute, I have no doubt, to strengthen the friendly relations 
between our two countries. 





JUNE 4, IQ02. 11 

Count Tornielli, Italian Ambassador at Paris, to M. 
Prinetti, Minister of Foreign A/airs of Italy. 

Paris, June 4, 1902. 
Mr. Minister, 

I have the honor to send Your Excellency a copy, enclosed 
herewith, of the declaration which I have today given, according 
to your instructions, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs here: that 
the renewal of the Triple Alliance presents no danger for France, 
because there is excluded from it whatever could be directly or 
indirectly aggressive against France. 

M. Delcasse expressed to me the deepest gratitude of the 
French Government for this highly loyal proof which the King's 
Government had given of its policy of peace. 

G. Tornielli. 



Autograph Note of M. Delcasse. 

Le 4 juin 1902. 

M. le Comte Tomielli vient de me donner lecture du tele- 
gramme suivant, contenant la declaration annoncee et dont, sur 
ma demande, il m'a laisse copie. 

4 juin 1902, 4 heures du soir. 

Copy left by Count Tomielli. 

J'ai ete autorise par S. E. M. Prinetti a communiquer a Votre 
Excellence un telegramme dans lequel le Ministre des Affaires 
Strangeres dTtalie me confirme que, dans le renouvellement de la 
Triple Alliance, 12 il n'y a rien qui soit directement ou indirecte- 
ment agressif envers la France, aucun engagement qui puisse nous 
obliger en aucune eventualite a prendre part a une agression 
centre elle, enfin aucune stipulation qui menace la securite et 
la tranquillite de la France. 

M. Prinetti desire egalement que je sache que les protocoles ou 
conventions additionnelles a la Triple Alliance, dont on a beau- 
coup parle dans les derniers temps et qui en altereraient le carac- 
tere completement defensif et qui auraient m&ne un caractere 
agressif centre la France, n'existent point. 

Le Ministre des Affaires etrangeres d'ltalie exprime en m^me 
temps sa ferme confiance que cette communication aura pour 
effet de consolider de plus en plus les bonnes relations existantes 
entre les deux pays et d'en assurer le developpement fecond. 

Cette communication est destinee a rester secrete. 

18 The negotiations for the renewal of the Triple Alliance were completed early in 
May, 1902, though the actual signing of the treaty was postponed until June 28. 
See p. 131, supra. 


Autograph Note of M. Dekasse. 

June 4, 1902. 

Count Tornielli has just read me the following telegram, con- 
taining the declaration stated, and has left a copy with me at my 

June 4, 1902. 4 P.M. 

Copy left by Count Tornielli. 

I have been authorized by His Excellency, M. Prinetti, to 
communicate to Your Excellency a telegram in which the Minis- 
ter of Foreign Affairs of Italy assures me that, in the renewal of 
the Triple Alliance, 12 there is nothing directly or indirectly aggres- 
sive toward France, no engagement binding us in any eventuality 
to take part in an aggression against her, finally no stipulation 
which menaces the security and tranquillity of France. 

M. Prinetti likewise desires that I should know that the proto- 
cols or additional conventions to the Triple Alliance, of which 
there has been much talk of late, and which would alter its com- 
pletely defensive character, and which would even have an ag- 
gressive character against France, do not exist. 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy expresses at the same 
time his firm confidence that this communication will have the 
effect of strengthening more and more the good relations existing 
between the two countries and of assuring the fruitful develop- 
ment thereof. 

This communication is meant to remain secret. 






M. Prinetti, Minister of Foreign A fairs of Italy, to M. Barrere, 
Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome. 

Rome, le i er novembre 1902. 

A la suite des conversations que nous avons eues touchant la 
situation reciproque de 1'Italie et de la France dans le bassin 
mediterraneen, et touchant plus specialement les interets res pec- 
tifs des deux nations en Tripolitaine Cyrenaique et au Maroc, il 
nous a paru opportun de preciser les engagements qui resultent 
des lettres echangees a ce sujet entre Votre Excellence et le Mar- 
quis Visconti Venosta, les 14 et 16 decembre 1900, en ce sens que 
chacune des deux Puissances pourra librement developper sa 
sphere d'innuence dans les regions susmentionnees au moment 
qu'elle jugera opportun, et sans que Faction de Tune d'elles soit 
necessairement subordonnee a celle de Fautre. II a ete explique 
a cette occasion que, par la limite de Fexpansion franchise en 
Afrique septentrionale, visee dans la lettre precitee de Votre 
Excellence du 14 decembre 1900, on entend bien la frontiere de la 
Tripolitaine indiquee par la carte annexee a la declaration du 21 
mars 1899, additionnelle a la Convention franco-anglaise du 14 
juin 1898. 

Nous avons constate que cette interpretation ne laissait sub- 
sister actuellement entre nos Gouvernements aucune divergence 
sur leurs interets respectifs dans la Mediterranee. 

A Toccasion de ces pourparlers, et pour eliminer d'une maniere 
definitive tout malentendu possible entre nos deux pays, je 
n'hesite pas, pour preciser leurs rapports generaux, a faire spon- 
tanement a Votre Excellence, au nom du Gouvernement de Sa 
Majeste le Roi, les declarations suivantes: 

13 Les accords franco-italiens de 1900-1902, no. 8; Accordi italo-francesi, pp. 2 f., 
no. 4; Accords secrets, pp. 48 f. 





M . Prinetti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, to M. Barrere, 
Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome. 13 

Rome, November i, 1902. 

In continuation of the conversations which we have had con- 
cerning the reciprocal situation of Italy and of France in the 
Mediterranean basin, and concerning more especially the re- 
spective interests of the two countries in Tripolitania-Cyrenaica 
and in Morocco, it seemed to us opportune to define the engage- 
ments which result from the letters exchanged on this subject, 
between Your Excellency and Marquis Visconti-Venosta, on 
December 14 and 16, 1900, in this sense, that each of the two 
Powers can freely develop its sphere of influence in the above- 
mentioned regions at the moment it deems it opportune, and 
without the action of one of them being necessarily subordinated 
to that of the other. It was explained on that occasion that the 
limit of French expansion in Northern Africa contemplated in 
the abovementioned letter of Your Excellency of December 14, 
1900, was fully understood to be the frontier of Tripoli tania 
indicated by the map attached to the Declaration of March 21, 
1899, additional to the Franco-English Convention of June 14, 

We noted that this interpretation left no divergence still exist- 
ing between our Governments as to their respective interests in 
the Mediterranean. 

Profiting by the occasion of these conferences, and in order to 
elimina'te in a definitive manner any possible misunderstanding 
between our two countries, I do not hesitate, in order to define 
their general relations, to make of my own accord to Your Excel- 
lency, in the name of the Government of His Majesty the King, 
the following declarations: 


Au cas ou la France serait 1'objet d'une agression directe ou 
indirecte de la part d'une ou de plusieurs puissances, 1'Italie 
gardera une stricte neutralite. 14 

II en sera de meme au cas ou la France, par suite d'une provo- 
cation directe, se trouverait reduite a prendre, pour la defense de 
son honneur ou de sa securite, 1'initiative d'une declaration de 
guerre. Dans cette eventualite, le Gouvernement de la Republi- 
que devra communiquer prealablement son intention au Gou- 
vernement royal, mis ainsi a meme de constater qu'il s'agit bien 
d'un cas de provocation directe. 

Pour rester fidele a 1'esprit d'amitie qui a inspire les presentes 
declarations, je suis autorise, en outre, a vous confirmer qu'il 
n'existe de la part de 1'Italie, et qu'il ne sera conclu par elle aucun 
protocole ou disposition militaire d'ordre contractuel interna- 
tional qui serait en disaccord avec les presentes declarations. 

J'ai a ajouter que, sauf en ce qui concerne 1'interpretation des 
interets mediterraneens des deux Puissances, laquelle a un carac- 
tere definitif, conformement a 1'esprit de la correspondance 
echangee, les 14 et 16 decembre 1900, entre Votre Excellence et le 
Marquis Visconti Venosta, les declarations qui precedent etant 
en harmonie avec les engagements internationaux actuels de 
Tltalie, le Gouvernement royal entend qu'elles auront leur pleine 
valeur aussi longtemps qu'il n'aura pas fait savoir au Gouverne- 
ment de la Republique que ces engagements ont ete modifies. 

Je serais reconnaissajit a Votre Excellence de vouloir bien 
m'accuser reception de la presente communication, qui devra 
rester secrete, et m'en dormer acte au nom du Gouvernement de 
la Republique. 


14 Cf. Articles II and III of the fourth treaty of the Triple Alliance, Vol. I, 
p. 223. 


In case France should be the object of a direct or indirect ag- 
gression on the part of one or more Powers, Italy will maintain a 
strict neutrality. 14 

The same shall hold good in case France, as the result of a 
direct provocation, should find herself compelled, in defence of 
her honor or of her security, to take the initiative of a declaration 
of war. In that eventuality, the Government of the Republic shall 
previously communicate its intention to the Royal Government, 
which will thus be enabled to determine whether there is really a 
case of direct provocation. 

In order to remain faithful to the spirit of friendship which has 
inspired the present declarations, I am authorized further to con- 
firm to you that on the part of Italy no protocol or military pro- 
vision in the nature of an international contract which would be 
in disagreement with the present declarations exists or will be 
concluded by her. 

I may add that save as concerns the interpretation of the 
Mediterranean interests of the two Powers, which has a final 
character in conformity with the spirit of the correspondence 
exchanged between Your Excellency and Marquis Visconti- 
Venosta, on December 14 and 16, 1900, as the preceding declara- 
tions are in harmony with the present international engagements 
of Italy, the Royal Government understands that they shall re- 
tain their full validity so long as it has not notified the Govern- 
ment of the Republic that these engagements have been modified. 

I should be obliged if Your Excellency would be kind enough to 
acknowledge receipt of the present communication, which must 
remain secret, and to take note thereof in the name of the Govern- 
ment of the Republic. 



M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, to 
M. Prinetti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy. 15 

Rome, le i er novembre 1902. 

Par sa lettre en date de ce jour, Votre Excellence a bien voulu 
me rappeler qu'a la suite de nos conversations relatives a la situa- 
tion reciproque de la France et de 1'Italie dans le bassin mediter- 
raneen et plus specialement aux interets respectifs des deux pays 
en Tripolitaine Cyrenaique et au Maroc, il nous a paru opportun 
de preciser les engagements qui resultent des lettres echangees a 
ce sujet les 14 et 16 decembre 1900 entre le Marquis Visconti 
Venosta et moi, en ce sens que chacune des deux puissances pourra 
librement developper sa sphere d'influence dans les regions sus- 
mentionnees au moment qu'elle jugera opportun et sans que Fac- 
tion de Tune d'elles soit necessairement subordonnee a celle de 

II a ete explique a cette occasion que par la limite de 1'expan- 
sion franchise en Afrique septentrionale visee dans ma lettre 
precitee du 14 decembre 1900, on entend bien la frontiere de la 
Tripolitaine indiquee par la carte annexee a la declaration du 21 
mars 1899, additionnelle a la convention anglaise du 14 juin 1898. 

Cette interpretation ne laissant, ainsi que nous Tavons con- 
state, subsister actuellement entre nos Gouvernements aucune 
divergence sur leurs interets respectifs dans la Mediterranee, et 
dans le but d'eliminer d'une maniere definitive tout malentendu 
possible entre nos deux pays, vous avez ete autorise par le Gou- 
vernement de Sa Majeste a formuler spontanement certaines 
declarations destinees a preciser les rapports generaux de 1'Italie 
vis-a-vis de la France. 

J'ai 1'honneur d'accuser reception a Votre Excellence et de Lui 
donner acte au nom de mon Gouvernement de ces declarations. 

Je suis autorise, en retour, a formuler de la maniere suivante les 
conditions dans lesquelles la France entend, de son cote, dans le 
meme esprit amical, regler ses rapports generaux vis-a-vis de 

18 Les accords franco-italiens de 1900-1902, no. 7; Accordi italo-francesi, pp. 3 f., 
no. 5; Accords secrets, pp. 47 f. 


M. Ban ere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, to 
M. Prinetti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy. 16 

Rome, November i, 1902. 

By your letter of today's date, Your Excellency has been kind 
enough to recall to me that in the continuation of our conversa- 
tions relative to the reciprocal situation of France and of Italy in 
the Mediterranean basin, and more especially to the respective 
interests of the two countries in Tripolitania-Cyrenaica and in 
Morocco, it seemed to us opportune to define the engagements 
which result from the letters exchanged on this subject between 
Marquis Visconti-Venosta and myself on December 14 and 16, 
1900, in this sense, that each of the two Powers can freely develop 
its sphere of influence in the abovementioned regions at the mo- 
ment it deems it opportune, and without the action of one of them 
being necessarily subordinated to that of the other. 

It was explained on that occasion that the limit of French ex- 
pansion in Northern Africa contemplated in my abovementioned 
letter of December 14, 1900, was fully understood to be the fron- 
tier of Tripolitania indicated by the map attached to the Declara- 
tion of March 21, 1899, additional to the English Convention of 
June 14, 1898. 

This interpretation leaving, as we have noted, no divergence as 
to their respective interests in the Mediterranean still existing 
between our Governments, and with the purpose of eliminating in 
a definitive manner any possible misunderstanding between our 
two countries, you have been authorized by the Government of 
His Majesty to formulate of your own accord certain declarations 
intended to define the general relations of Italy towards France. 

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt thereof to Your Ex- 
cellency and to give you note of these declarations in the name of 
my Government. 

I am authorized, in return, to formulate in the following manner 
the conditions under which France on her side intends, in the same 
friendly spirit, to order her general relations towards Italy. 


Au cas ou 1'Italie serait 1'objet d'une agression directe ou in- 
directe de la part d'une ou de plusieurs puissances, la France 
gardera une stricte neutralite. 

II en sera de meme au cas ou 1'Italie, par suite d'une provoca- 
tion directe, se trouverait reduite a prendre, pour la defense de 
son honneur ou de sa securite, 1'initiative d'une declaration de 
guerre. Dans cette eventualite, le Gouvernement royal devra 
communiquer prealablement son intention au Gouvernement de 
la Republique, mis ainsi a meme de constater qu'il s'agit bien 
d'un cas de provocation directe. 

Je suis autorise egalement a vous declarer qu'il n'existe de la 
part de la France, et qu'il ne sera conclu par elle aucun protocole 
ou disposition militaire d'ordre contractuel international qui 
serait en disaccord avec les presentes declarations. 

II est entendu enfin que, sauf en ce qui concerne Fmterpreta- 
tion des interets mediterraneans des deux puissances, laquelle a 
un caractere defmitif , conformement a 1'esprit de la correspon- 
dance echangee les 14 et 16 decembre 1900 entre le Marquis Vis- 
conti Venosta et moi, les declarations qui precedent et qui doivent 
rester secretes, etant en harmonic avec les engagements interna- 
tionaux actuels de 1'ItaJie, aaront leur pleine vajeur aussi long- 
temps que le Gouvernment royal n'aura pas fait connaitre au 
Gouvernement de la Republique que ces engagements ont ete 



Definition of the word "direct" in the preceding. 

(i) M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, 
to M. Prinetti, Minister of Foreign A/airs of Italy. 16 

Rome, le 2 novembre 1902. 

Au sujet des declarations que nous avons echangees par nos 
lettres en date d'hier sur les rapports generaux de la France et de 
1'Italie, il me semblerait necessaire, pour eviter toute possibilite 
de malentendu, de preciser le sens et la portee qui doivent etre 

M Les accords franco-italiens de 1900-1902, no. 9. 


In case Italy should be the object of a direct or indirect aggres- 
sion on the part of one or more Powers, France will maintain a 
strict neutrality. 

The same shall hold good in case Italy, as the result of a direct 
provocation, should find herself compelled, in defence of her honor 
or of her security, to take the initiative of a declaration of war. In 
that eventuality, the Royal Government shall previously commu- 
nicate its intention to the Government of the Republic, which will 
thus be enabled to determine whether there is really a case of 
direct provocation. 

I am authorized equally to declare to you that on the part of 
France no protocol or military provision in the nature of an in- 
ternational contract which would be in disagreement with the 
present declarations exists or will be concluded by her. 

It is fully understood finally that save as concerns the in- 
terpretation of the Mediterranean interests of the two Powers, 
which has a final character in conformity with the spirit of the 
correspondence exchanged between Marquis Visconti-Venosta 
and myself, on December 14 and 16, 1900, as the declarations 
which precede, and which must remain secret, are in harmony 
with the present international engagements of Italy, they shall 
retain their full validity so long as the Royal Government has not 
notified the Government of the Republic that these engagements 
have been modified. 


Definition of the word "direct" in the preceding. 

(/) M . Barrere, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome t 
to M. Prinetti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy. 16 

Rome, November 2, 1902. 

On the subject of the declarations which we have exchanged by 
our letters of yesterday's date respecting the general relations of 
France and Italy, it would seem to me necessary, in order to avoid 
every possibility of misunderstanding, to define the sense and the 
scope which ought to be attributed to the word "direct" in the 


attribues au mot "directe" dans Texpression "provocation 
directe" employee dans lesdites declarations. 

Je vous serais reconnaissant de me confirmer 1'interpretation 
que comporte, dans votre opinion, le terme dont il s'agit. 


(2) M . Prinetti, Minister of Foreign A fairs of Italy, 
to M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French 
Republic at Rome. 11 

Rome, le 2 novembre 1902. 

Vous avez bien voulu m'exprimer, par votre lettre d'aujourd'- 
hui, le desir de voir precises par moi, aim d'eviter toute possibilite 
de malentendu, le sens et la portee qui doivent etre attribues 
au mot directe dans 1'expression provocation directe, employee 
dans les declarations que je vous ai faites par ma lettre en date 

Je m'empresse de vous confirmer a ce sujet ce que j'ai eu 1'occa- 
sion de vous dire de vive voix. Le mot directe a ce sens et cette 
portee, a savoir que les faits pouvant etre eventuellement invo- 
ques comme constituant la provocation doivent concerner les 
rapports directs entre la Puissance provocatrice et la puissance 

Jules Prinetti. 

MOROCCO. PARIS, OCTOBER 28, 191 2. 18 

Le gouvernement de la Republique franchise [gouvernement 
royal d'ltalie] et le gouvernement royal d'ltalie [gouvernement 
de la Republique franc, aise], desireux d'executer dans 1'esprit le 
plus amical leurs accords de 1902, confirment leur mutuelle in- 
tention de n'apporter reciproquement aucun obstacle a la realisa- 
tion de toutes les mesures qu'ils jugeront opportun d'edicter, la 

17 Les accords franco-italiens de 1900-1902, no. 10. 

18 Revue generate de droit international public, xx, Docs., p. 9; Rivista di diritto 
internazionale, vii, pp. 425-426 (1913). Italy signed substantially the same text with 
Spain at Rome on May 4, 1913, with reference to "Italy in Libya and Spain in her 


expression " direct provocation" employed in the said declara- 

I should be obliged to you if you would confirm to me the in- 
terpretation which, in your opinion, belongs to the term in 


(2) M. Prinetti, Minister of Foreign A fairs of Italy, 

to M. Barrere, Ambassador of the French 

Republic at Rome. 17 

Rome, November 2, 1902. 

You have been kind enough to express to me, by your letter of 
today, the desire to see defined by me, in order to avoid every 
possibility of misunderstanding, the sense and the scope which 
ought to be attributed to the word direct in the expression direct 
provocation, employed in the declarations which I made to you by 
my letter of yesterday. 

I hasten to confirm to you on this subject what I had occasion 
to say to you by word of mouth. The word direct has this sense 
and this meaning, to wit, that the facts capable of being eventually 
invoked as constituting the provocation must concern the direct 
relations between the Power provoking and the Power provoked. 

Giulio Prinetti. 

MOROCCO. PARIS, OCTOBER 28, 191 2. 18 

The Government of the French Republic [Royal Government 
of Italy] and the Royal Government of Italy [Government of the 
French Republic], desirous of executing in the most friendly spirit 
their agreements of 1902, confirm their mutual intention of re- 
ciprocally not putting any obstacle in the way of the realization of 
all measures they shall deem it opportune to enact, France in 

zone of influence in Morocco," A. di San Giuliano signing for Italy and Ambassador 
Pina y Millet for Spain. The text of the latter declaration is to be found in the 
Gazzetta ufficiale of May 16, 1913, and the Bolhttino utyciale del Ministero ddle 
Colonie, i, no. 6, p. 295, and in Rivista di diritto internazionale, vii, p. 425. 


France au Maroc et 1'Italie en Libye [PItalie en Libye et la 
France au Maroc]. 

Us conviennent de meme que le traitement de la nation la plus 
favorisee sera reciproquement assure a la France en Libye et a 
Tltalie au Maroc [PItalie au Maroc et a la France en Libye]: 
ledit traitement devant s'appliquer de la maniere la plus large 
aux nationaux, aux produits, aux etablissements et aux entre- 
prises de Tun et Pautre fitats sans exception. 

Signe: Poincare, 

Paris, 28 octobre 1912. 


Morocco and Italy in Libya [Italy in Libya and France in 

They agree likewise that the most-favored-nation treatment 
shall be reciprocally assured to France in Libya and Italy in 
Morocco [Italy in Morocco and to France in Libya] : said treat- 
ment to be applied in the largest sense to the nationals, the 
products, the establishments, and the enterprises of both states, 
without exception. 

(Signed) Poincar6. 

Paris, October 28, 1912. 



Abbazia, conference at, between Golu- 
chowski and Tittoni (1904), 137; be- 
tween Berchtold and San Giuliano 
(April, 1914), 178. 

Abyssinia, 104, 105, 106. 

Accord d trois, 107 f . 

Adriatic, the, 5, 9, 15, 42, 47, 53, 54, 55, 
60, 73, 78, 98, US, "8, 123, 124, 134, 
144, 149, 152, 157, 162, 168 f., 170, 175, 
176, 180. 

Aegean Sea, the, 55, 60, 79, 98, 123, 144, 
155, 158, 1 65, note. 

Aehrenthal, Aloys, Baron Lexa von, 
Austro-Hungarian minister of foreign 
affairs (1906-12), 140 f., 143-149, 151- 
160, 165. 

Africa, partition of, 121, note, 240, note, 
249, 253. 

Albania, 6, 9, 47, 70, 80, 115, 117, 121, 
123, 124, 126, 135, 160, 161, 163, 164, 
170, 172, 176 ff., 191, 203. 

Albertone, Cavalier M., Italian military 
delegate, 85, note. 

Albricci, Major A., Italian military at- 
tache", 174, note, 175, note. 

Alexander I, prince of Battenberg, prince 
of Bulgaria (1870-86), 46. 

Alexander II, tsar of Russia (1855-81), 
183, 184, 186, 187. 

Alexander III, tsar of Russia (1881-94), 
95, 206, 211. 

Algeciras, conference of (1006), 135, 136, 
note, 138, 139, 149, 229. 

Algeria, 157. 

Alps, the, 175. 

Alsace, 95. 

Ambr6zy, Baron, counsellor of the 
Austro-Hungarian embassy at Rome, 
150, note, 169, note. 

Andrassy, Count Julius, Austro-Hun- 
garian minister of foreign affairs (1871- 

79), 5, ii, note, 21, 41, 43, 184, 188, 
note, 193, 199, 201, 203; life of, by 
Wertheimer, 3, note. 

Andrdssy note, the (December 30, 1875; 
presented January 31, 1876), 183, 193. 

Antwerp, 166. 

Arabs, the, in conflict with the Italians, 

Arco, Count, German diplomat, 49, note. 

Arms and munitions, importation of, 189. 

Asia Minor, 139, 158. 

Aubert, Vice-Admiral, chief of the gen- 
eral staff of the French navy, 223, 

Austro-German alliance of 1879, the, 5, 
24, 42, 205. 

Austro-Hungary, a member of the Triple 
Alliance, 3-180; concludes an informal 
league with Germany and Russia 
(1872), 183; agreements with Russia 
(1873-76), 183-204; alliance with 
Germany (1879), 5, 24, 42, 205; league 
with Germany and Russia (1881), 68, 
105, 136, 183, 205, 226; Balkan agree- 
ment with Russia (1897), 227. 

Autonomy, principle of, 126, 193, 195. 

Avarna, Duke of, Italian ambassador at 
Vienna, 150, note, 152, 153, 165, note, 

Avlona, see Valona. 

Balkan nations, the, 33, 42, 115, 120, 123, 

Balkan question, the, 6, 46 f., 50-56, 59, 
61-73, 78 f., 82, 84, 92, 99, 105, 114 f., 
123-129, 136, 137, 149, 157-162, 167- 
172, 174, 176-180, 183-203, 227. 

Bardo, treaty of the (1881), 10. 

Barrere, Camille, French ambassador at 
Rome (from 1897), 115, 118, 139, 162, 
228, 231-243, 248-257. 



Barthelemy-Saint>Hilaire, Jules, French 

statesman, 101, note. 
Barzilai, Italian deputy, 145, 147. 
Beaconsfield, Earl of, British premier 

(1874-80), 5, 7- 

Belgian neutrality, 166. 

Berchem, Count, German official, 63, 

Berchtold, Count Leopold, Austro- 
Hungarian minister of foreign affairs 
(1912-15), 61, note, 160-173, 174, 176- 

Berlin, congress of (1878), 4, 40, 145, 185; 
memorandum of (May, 1876), 183, 
193, 105; treaty of (1878), 8, 9, 145. 

Bessarabia, 184, 201. 

Bethmann-Hollweg, Theobald von, Ger- 
man imperial chancellor (1909-17), 
144, 176. 

Bismarck, Count Herbert, German sec- 
retary of state for foreign affairs (1886- 
90), 63, note, 64, note, 65 f., 68, 70 f., 

74 f., 84, note. 

Bismarck, Prince Otto von, German im- 
perial chancellor (1871-90), 3-8, n f., 
14 f., 18, 19, 24, 27 ff., 32, 35, note, 
37 f., 41, 42, 43, 108 ff., 114, 183, 185, 
205, 226; furthers the adoption of the 
second treaty of the Triple Alliance 
(1887), 44-53, 58 ff-, 66-70, 71 ff., 

75 ff., 79 f., 82-89. 
Black Sea, the, 191. 

Blanc, Baron, Italian minister, n, 17, 

19; minister of foreign affairs (1893- 

96), 103 f. 
Bohemia, 184. 
Boisdeffre, Raoul Francois Charles Le 

Mouton de, sub-chief (later chief) of 

the French general staff, 214, note, 

217; 219. 
Bosnia, 73, 135, 137, 145, 146, 184, 185, 

191, 193, 197, 199, 201. 
Boulanger, Georges, French general and 

politician, 47, 205. 
Bourbons, the, 6. 
Brin, Benedetto, Italian minister of 

foreign affairs (1892-93), 103, note. 
Brody, 197. 

Bruck, Baron, Austro-Hungarian am- 
bassador at Rome, 64, note, 69, note, 
77, note, 82, note, 86, note, 87, note, 
89, oo, 91, note, 93, note, 94 ff. 

Bucharest, treaty of (August 10, 1913), 

Budapest, treaty of (1877), 185, 190- 

Billow, Bernhard von (prince from 1005), 
German ambassador at Rome (1893- 
97), 106, note, 108, no; imperial 
chancellor (1900-09), n8f., 125, 
127 f., 129 ff., 136, 137 f., 139, 140, 141, 
144, 235. 

Bukowina, Austrian province, 16. 

Bulgaria, 46, 59, 66, 167, 176, 177, note, 
191, 195, 197, 199, 203, 206. 

Bulgarian affair, the (1885), 46. 

Busch, German minister, 28, note. 

Cairoli, Benedetto, Italian premier (1878, 
1879-81), 4, 7, 8, 10. 

Capitulations, the, in Morocco, 226, note. 

Caprivi, General Georg Leo von (count 
from December 18, 1891), German im- 
perial chancellor (1890-94), 88, 89-98, 

Cattaro, 189. 

Christians, in the Balkan peninsula, 193, 

Colloredo-Mannsfeld, Count, Austro- 
Hungarian naval attache, 175, note. 

Commercial treaties, between Italy and 
the Central Powers, 103, 117, 120, 125, 
126 f., 128, 129 f., 137; commercial 
treaty between Italy and France 
(1898), 116, 227. 

Compensation, principle of, 16, 56, 65, 
68, 73, 74, 75, 146, 149, 158, 179- 

Conrad von Hotzendorf, Franz, Baron, 
chief of the Austro-Hungarian general 
staff (from 1006), 143 f., 156 f., 175, 

Constantinople, 59, 83, 105, 121, 122, 
123, 128, 159, 191, 203; conference of 
(1876-77), 193. 

Contraband of war, 197. 

Corsica, 80. 


Counter-services, principle of, 96, 123, 

Cracow, 197. 

Cretan affair, the (1897), 115. 

Crete, 191, 203. 

Crimean war, the (1853-56), 184. 

Crispi, Francesco, Italian statesman, 31, 
note, 37, 81, note, 82, note; premier 
and acting minister of foreign affairs 
(1887-91), 84-94; premier (1893-96), 
103-107; Memoirs of, 8, note, 46, note; 
newspaper article by, 113, note. 

Croatia, 189. 

Currie, Lord, British ambassador at 
Rome (1898-1903), 123, note. 

Cyrenaica, 99, note, 127, 130, 147, note, 
155, 160, 161, 163, 164, 172, 243, 249, 

Czernowitz, 197. 

Dabormida, Count Victor Emmanuel, 

Italian military delegate, 85, note. 
Dalmatia, 189, 191. 
Danube, the, proposed crossing of, by 

Russian troops, 195, 197. 
Dardanelles, the, 83, 159, 165, note, 166, 

Delcasse", The'ophile, French minister of 

foreign affairs (1898-1905), 118, 133, 

221, 235, 237, 245, 247; minister of 

marine (1911-13), 223. 
Depretis, Agostino, Italian premier 

(1876-77, etc., and 1881-87), 10, 13, 

note, 14, 17, 20. 
Deutscttand schuldig?, cited, 147, note, 

175, note. 

Dodecanesus, the, 158. 
Dogali, Italian defeat at (January 26, 

1887), 75- 

Drina region, the, 191. 
Dual Alliance, the, of France and Russia 

(1891), 95, 97, 204-225, 227. 
Dual Alliance, the, of Germany and 

Austria-Hungary (1879), 5, 24, 84, 205. 

East Africa, 106. 

Eastern Asia, Russia's undertakings in, 

Edward VII, king of England (1901-10). 
142, 145. 

Egypt, 18, 28, 79, 98, note. 

Egyptian question, the, 36, 56, 79, 99, 1 10 

England, 5, 7, 10, 36 ff., 56, 58, 80, 82 f., 
8 5> 89, 95, 96, 100 f., 105, 106, 107 f., 
109 f., 112, 116, 128, 134, 139 f., 143, 
145 f., 150, 156, 159, 167, 175, 206, 

Enver Bey, 168. 

Epirus, 203. 

Eulenburg, Count, German ambassador 
at Vienna (1894-1902), 112. 

Faure, Francois Fe"lix, president of 
France (1895-99), 215, note. 

First Balkan war, the (1912-13), 168. 

Flotow, Count, Austro-Hungarian charge" 
d'affaires at Berlin, 153, note, 166, 
note, 167. 

Fortis, Italian deputy, 145. 

Frakn6i, Vilmos, cited, 29, note, 42, note. 

France, 4 f., 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 
23-38, 40-43, 46, 47-55, 57-60, 62-78, 
79 f., 82 f., 85 ff., 93, 94 f., 96, 97, 104, 
106, 107-112, 115-119, 122, 124, 133- 

136, 139, i43 146-150, IS4, 155, 157, 
159, 161, 162, 165 ff., 169, 174, 175 f., 
180; alliance with Russia (1891), 95, 97, 
204-225, 227; agreements with Italy 
(1000-02, etc.), 116 ff., 133, 226-259. 

Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austro- 
Hungarian throne, 151; assassinated 
at Serajevo (June 28, 1914), 178. 

Francis Joseph I, emperor of Austria 
(1848-1916), n, 14, 44, 49, note, 69, 
73, 76, 81, note, 88, 90, note, 144, 151, 
152 f., 157 f., 184, 186, 187. 

Franco-Italian agreements of 1000-02, 
n6ff., 119, 133, 226-257. 

Frederick III, German emperor and king 
of Prussia (March-June, 1888), 116. 

Friuli, 47, note. 

Gambetta, Le"on, French premier (1881- 

82), 12. 

Gastein, conversations at (1886), 47. 
Geneva, convention of (1864), 197. 



Genoa, Duke of, visits Toulon, 231. 

Germany, a member of the Triple Alli- 
ance, 3-180; concludes an informal 
league with Austria-Hungary and Rus- 
sia (1872), 183; alliance with Austria- 
Hungary (1879), 5, 24, 205; league 
with Austria-Hungary and Russia 
(1881), 68, 105, 136, 183, 205, 226; 
secret treaty with Russia (1887), 83, 
95, 205, 206, 226. 

Giers, Nicholas de, Russian minister of 
foreign affairs (1882-95), 20 7, 20 9> 211, 
213, 219. 

Giolitti, Giovanni, Italian minister of 
the interior (1901-03), 235; premier 
(1903-06), 137; (1911-14), 151, 171, 
172, 176, note. 

Goiran, Giovanni, Italian military dele- 
gate, 86. 

Goluchowski, Agenor, Count, Austro- 
Hungarian minister of foreign affairs 
(1895-1906), 106, note, 108, no, note, 
in, note, 112, 114, 118, note, 123-132, 
137, 140. 

Gorchakov (Gortchakoff), Prince Alex- 
ander, Russian chancellor, 190, note. 

Granicza, 197. 

Great Britain, 241. See England. 

Greater Serbia, idea of a, 177. 

Greece, 177, 191, 203. 

Greeks, the, 120, 169. 

Greindl, Baron, Belgian minister at Ber- 
lin, 118, note, 140, note, 143, note. 

Grigorovitch, J., Russian minister of 
marine, 223. 

Grunert-Gorke, 8, note. 

Guicciardini, Francesco, Count, Italian 
deputy, 117; minister of foreign af- 
fairs (1909-10), 147 f., 151. 

Gunboats, on the Danube, 195. 

Guttenberg, Emil, Ritter von, Austro- 
Hungarian military delegate, 86, note. 

Hansen, Jens Julius, 204, note; his view 
controverted, 81, note, 87, note. 

Haymerle, Baron Heinrich von, Austro- 
Hungarian minister of foreign affairs 
(1870-81), 3 ff., 7. 

Heeringen, Vice-Admiral von, 175, note. 

Herzegovina, 73, 135, 137, 145, 146, 184, 
185, 191, 193, 197, 199, 201, 

Hirling, 8, note, 9, note. 

Hofmann, H., cited, 37, note, 84, note. 

Holstein, Baron Fritz von, actual privy 
councillor in the political and diplo- 
matic section of the German foreign 
office, 70, 75, 80, note. 

Hospitals, 197. 

Hoyos, Count, Austro-Hungarian am- 
bassador at Paris, 95, note. 

Humbert I, king of Italy (1878-1900), 7, 
8, 11, 12, 16, 20, 45, 49, 81, note, 84 f., 

Indemnification, principle of, 157. See 

Innsbruck, university of, disturbances at, 


Internationale, the, 6. 

Irredentist movement, in Italy, 4, 6, 15, 
44, 54, 84, 135, 149; recovery of the 
unredeemed provinces, 179. 

Ischl, 149, 152 f . 

Italy, a member of the Triple Alliance, 
3-180; Mediterranean agreements 
with England (1887), 56, 58, 80, 82 f., 
128; agreements with France (1900- 
02, etc.), n6ff., 133, 226-259. 

Jackal policy, 6. 

Jagow, Gottlieb von, German ambassa- 
dor at Rome (1908-13), 152; Ursachen 
und Ausbruch des Weltkrieges by, 133, 
note, 136, note. 

Juggler, Bismarck likened to a, 84. 

Kallay, Benjamin, Austro-Hungarian 
minister, n, note. 

Kalnoky, Count Gustav, Austro-Hun- 
garian statesman and diplomatist, 
presents Haymerle's views to Bis- 
marck (1880), 4, 5ff.; ambassador at 
St. Petersburg (1880), 4; minister of 
foreign affairs (1881-95), 12, 13-18, 
23-39, 4i ff-, 45-77, 80, note, 81, note, 
82, note, 84-102, 108, 109. 



Keudell, German ambassador at Rome, 

8, note, n, note, 19, 49. 
Kiderlen-Wachter, Alfred von, German 

secretary of state for foreign affairs 

(1911-13), 151-156, 160, 162, 165 f., 

167, 171 f. 
Kiel, meeting of Victor Emmanuel III 

and William II at (July, 1913), 177, 


Kissingen, conversations at (1886), 47. 
Kick, 189. 

Konigsberg, 14, note. 
Kohl, Horst cited, 67, note. 
Kronstadt, visited by the French fleet 

(1891), 206. 

Laboulaye, Antoine Ren6 Paul Lefebvre 
de, French ambassador at St. Peters- 
burg (1886-91), 209. 

Lanza di Busca, Count Carlo, Italian 
ambassador at Berlin (1892-1907), 
104, note, no, note, in, note, 119, 
note, 126, 129, 132, note. 

Launay, Eduardo, Count di, Italian am- 
bassador at Berlin (1867-92), 12, 14, 
19, 20, 46, note, 47 ff., 54, 58, 62, note, 
64, note, 66, 70, 72, note, 74 f., 86, note, 

Lausanne, peace of (October 18, 1912), 
168, 169. 

League of the Three Emperors, the 
(1881), 68, 105, 136, 183, 205, 226; in- 
formal (1872), 183. 

Lemberg, 197. 

Lemonon, confuted, 131, note. 

Levantine trade, 158. 

Libya, 226, note, 259. 

Lieven, Prince, chief of the general staff 
of the Russian navy, 223, 225. 

Lim, the, 191. 

London, the Internationale in, 6; con- 
ference of (May, 1913), 176, 177. 

Lorraine, 95. 

Liitzow, Heinrich, Count von, Austro- 
Hungarian ambassador at Rome, 
139 f., 141. 

Luzzatti, Luigi, partisan of Franco- 
Italian friendship, 235. 

Macedonia, 120, 121, 135, 138, 177. 

Maffei, Count, Italian minister, 8. 

Manchuria, 145. 

Mancini, Pasquale, Italian minister of 
foreign affairs (1881-85), 10, ", note, 
15, note, 17, 18, 20 f., 23, 32, 37, 108. 

Marcora, G., president of the Italian 
chamber of deputies (1905), 135. 

Margaret, queen of King Humbert of 
Italy, ii, 13, note. 

Marschall von Bieberstein, Adolf, Baron, 
German secretary of state for foreign 
affairs (1890-97), 100, 101, note, 104, 
note, no, note; ambassador at Con- 
stantinople (from 1897), 119, note. 

Massowah, 45, 74, 77, note. 

Mediterranean, the, proposed extension 
of the Italian sphere of influence in, 9, 
37, 54 f., 96, 104; proposed guaranty 
of the status quo in, 47-51; Franco- 
Italian agreement* regarding interests 
in, 118, 226-257; Anglo-Italian agree- 
ments concerning, 56, 58, 80, 82 f., 
128; the naval agreement of 1913, 175; 
danger of French domination in, still 
existent, 180. 

Mercenaries, 70. 

M6rey, H. K., Austro-Hungarian am- 
bassador at Rome (1910-14), 152 ff., 
156, 158 f., 162-165, 171, 173, note, 177. 

Middle Ages, the, 70. 

Milan II, prince of Serbia (1868-82), and 
king (1882-89), 46, 83. 

Milan, Italy, Caprivi and Crispi meet at 
(November, 1890), 89-93. 

Mincio, the, 6. 

Mitrovitza, 144. 

Mitylene, 167. 

Mohammedans, in Bosnia and Herze- 
govina, 193. 

Mohrenheim, Baron Arthur de, Russian 
ambassador at Paris, 209, 219. 

Monarchical principle, support of the, 
12, 16, 39, 89, note, 104, 130. 

Monastir, 144. 

Montebello, Count de, French ambassa- 
dor at St. Petersburg, 215, note,j2i7, 
note, 219. 



Montenegro, 6, 42, note, 145, 176, 189, 
191, 199, 201. 

Monts de Mazin, Anton, Count von, 
German diplomat, counsellor of em- 
bassy at Vienna (1887), 69; ambassa- 
dor at Rome (1903-08), 133, 139 f. 

Monza, agreements of (November, 1897), 
114 f., 124. 

Moroccan affair, the (1905-06), 135, 229. 

Morocco, 54, 57 f., 67, 71, 72, 74, 79, 92, 
99, 150, 154, 160, 226, note, 227-259. 

Mouravieff, Count Michael, Russian 
minister of foreign affairs (1897-1900), 

Muhlberg, Otto von, under secretary of 
state in the German foreign office 
(1900-08), 117, 132, note. 

Miirzsteg, convention of (1903), 135, 227. 

Naples, 6. 

National party, the, in Italy, 144. 

Naval convention of the Triple Alliance, 
of 1900, 115; of 1913, 175, 229; be- 
tween France and Russia (1912), 175, 
222-225; between England and France 
(1912), 175. 

Naval demonstration, Italian, against 
Turkey, 158, 165. 

Nemo me impune lacessit, 114. 

Nice, 80. 

Nicholas II, tsar of Russia (1894-1917), 
145, 146, 221. 

Nigra, Count Costantino, Italian ambas- 
sador at Vienna, 50, 86 f., 89, note, 92, 
94, 96 ff., 105 ff., no, note, 116, 118, 
note, 125, note, 129, 136. 

Nikita (Nicholas), prince, later king, of 
Montenegro, 176. 

North Africa, 7, 72, 79 f., 90, 91, 99, 100, 
104, 136, 152-172, 227-259. 

Novi-Bazar, sanjak of, 137, 144, 145, 148, 
170, note, 191. 

Novikow (Novikoff, Nowikoff), Eugene, 
Russian ambassador at Vienna, 188, 
note, 193, 199, 201, 203. 

Obrucheff, General, chief of the Russian 
general staff, 217, 219. 

Old Serbia, 191. 
Oncken, Hermann, 3, note. 
Ottoman Empire, the, 55, 60. See 

Palermo, 14, note. 

Pan-Italian programme, 144. 

Paris, treaty of, ending the Crimean war 
(March 30, 1856), 195; guaranteeing 
the independence and integrity of the 
Ottoman Empire (April 15, 1856), 


Paris exhibition, the (1889), 205. 

Partition of Africa, 121, note, 240, note, 
249, 253. 

Pasetti, Baron, Austro-Hungarian am- 
bassador at Rome, 106, 108, 113, 118, 
note, 120, 127, 129-132. 

Pisa and San Rossore, meeting of Berch- 
told and San Giuliano at (1912), 169. 

Poincare, Raymond, French premier and 
minister of foreign affairs (1912-13), 
224, note, 231, 241, 259. 

Poles, the, 95. 

Pope, the, 6, 12, 1 8, 40, 89, note. 

Portugal, 89. 

Preferential tariffs, 93, note. 

Press, the Austro-Hungarian, 156, 158; 
French, 231; Hungarian, u, note; 
Italian, 44, 77, 116, 135, 158, 231; at- 
tempts or proposed attempts to influ- 
ence, 44, 158. 

Prinetti, Giulio, Italian minister of 
foreign affairs (1901-03), 117, 118, 
note, 120-131, 137, 227 f., 235-241, 

Provincial republics, suggested partition 
of Italy into, 4. 

Quadruple Alliance, feared by Barthe'- 
lemy-Saint-Hilaire, 101, note. 

Racconigi, agreements of, between Rus- 
sia and Italy (October, 1009), 136, 
note, 146 f., 159. 

Radical party, in Italy, 104. 

Rattazzi, Italian Francophile, 235. 

Red Sea, the, 45 f-, 231. 



Rehm, Hermann, cited, 33, note, 35, 

Reichstadt, pact of (July 8, 1876), 184, 

'Reinsurance treaty,' the (1887), 83, 95, 
205, 206, 226. 

Republican party, in Italy, 104. 

Reuss, Prince Henry VII of, German am- 
bassador at Vienna, 12, 14, 27, 32, 34, 
note, 39, 49, note, 50 ff., 59, 62, note, 
66, 67, 68, note, 69, 70, 71, 72, note, 
76, 101, 102. 

Reval, meeting of Edward VII and 
Nicholas II at (June, 1008), 145. 

Rhine, the, 174. 

Ribot, Alexandre, French minister of 
foreign affairs, 204, note, 215, 219. 

Robilant, Count Carlo Felice Nicolis di, 
Italian ambassador at Vienna (1871- 
85), 10, note, n, note, 13-17, 19, 20, 
21, 22, 23-27, 31-35, 37, note, 38, 39; 
minister of foreign affairs (1885-87), 
45, 46, note, 48-7$, 80, note, 86, note, 

Roman Catholic church, the, 6. 

Rome, question of, 17, 18, 21, 40, 44, 49, 

Rosty, von, Austrian charge" d'affaires at 
Rome, 48. 

Rothschilds, the, 94 f. 

Rouard de Card, Edgard, 226, note. 

Rubba, Domenico di, 3, note. 

Rudini, Antonio, Marquis di Starabba, 
Italian premier (1891-92, 1896-98) and 
minister of foreign affairs (1891-92), 
94-101, 103, 107-113, 235. 

Rudolph, crown prince of Austria (b. 
1858, d. 1889), 44 f-, 80. 

Rumania, 42, note, 83, 120, note, 177, 

Rumelia, 191. 

Russia, 3 ff., 9, 12, 16, 20, 22, 24, 25, 28, 
36, 38, 40-43, 46, 50 ff., S3, 55, 58 ff-, 
61, 63-78, 82 ff., 87, 92, 95, 97, 105, 
109-112, 115, 121, 123, 126, 128, 135, 
136, 145, 146 ff., 159, 165 f., 170, 175 f.; 
concludes an informal league with Ger- 
many and Austria (1872), 183; agree- 

ments with Austria (1873-76), 183- 
204; league with Germany and Aus- 
tria (1881), 68, 105, 136, 183, 205, 226; 
secret treaty with Germany (1887), 
83, 95, 205, 206, 226; alliance with 
France (1891), 95, 97, 204-225, 227; 
Balkan agreement with Austria (1897) , 

St. Petersburg, convention of (1873), 
183, 186, 187. 

Salandra, Antonio, Italian premier 
(1914-16), 179. 

Salisbury, Marquis of, British premier 
(1885-86, 1886-92, 1895-1900, 1900- 
02) and foreign secretary (1885-86, 
etc.), 5, 48, 83, note, 96, note. 

Salonica, 9, 144. 

Salzburg and Ischl, conversations be- 
tween Aehrenthal and San Giuliano at 
(September, 1910), 149. 

San Giuliano, Marquis di, Italian min- 
ister of foreign affairs (1910-14), 148- 
156, 158-165, 160-173, 174-178. 

San Stefano, treaty of (March 3, 1878), 

Sarajevo, 144. 

Sardinia, 195, note. 

Savoy, house of , 39, 90. 

Sazonoff, Sergius, Russian minister of 
foreign affairs (1910-16), 224, note. 

Schlieffen , Count Alfred , German military 
delegate, 85, note. 

Schonbrunn, convention of (1873), 183- 

Scutari, 176. 

Secret treaties, Kalnoky on, 14, 15 f.; 
Bismarck on, 15, 38. 

Serbia, 42, note, 46, 83, 165, 170, 177, 
189, 191, 199, 201, 226. 

Serbo-Bulgarian war, the (1885), 46. 

Serbs, the, 120, 169, 172. 

Sermoneta, Duke of, Italian minister of 
foreign affairs (1896), no, note. 

Simpson, J. Y., 3, note. 

Singer, Arthur, 3, note. 

Slavic Balkan state, a, opposition to the 
establishment of , i68f., 203. 



Slavonia, 189. 

Slavs, the, 89, note, 121, 149, i68f., 

Sonnino, Baron Sidney, Italian states- 
man, member of the Chamber (1880- 
1919), premier (1906, 1909-10), min- 
ister of foreign affairs (1914-19), 10, 
12, note, 179, 235. 

Spain, 83, 89, 193, 201, 226. 

Spizza, 191. 

Steininger, Baron Karl von, Austro- 
Hungarian military attach6 at Berlin, 
85, note. 

Straits, the, 121, 147, note. 

Suczava, 197. 

Sudan, the, 116. 

Sze"chenyi, Emeric, Count, Austro-Hun- 
garian ambassador at Berlin (to 1892), 
14, note, 32, note, 47, note, 62, note, 
63, note; 65 f., 69 f., 73, 74, note, 75 f., 
77, 80, note, 86, note, 90, note, 91, 97, 


Szogy6ny-Marich, Ladislas, Austro-Hun- 
garian ambassador at Berlin (1892- 
1914), 104, note, no, note, 112, 118, 
note, 119, note, 132, note, 138, 154, 

Taaffe, Count Eduard von, Austrian 
premier (1869-70, 1879-93), 88, note. 

Tariff league, proposed, of the powers of 
the Triple Alliance, 93. 

Tariff war, between France and Italy, 85, 
93, note, 116, 227. 

Tavera, Ritter von, Austro-Hungarian 
diplomat, 50, note, 60, note. 

Teschenberg, Baron von, Austrian offi- 
cial, 9. 

Thessaly, 191, 203. 

Tittoni, Tommaso, Italian minister of 
foreign affairs (1903-06, 1906-09), 137, 
141, 145 ff.; ambassador at Paris 
(1910-16), 176, 259. 

Tornielli, Count, Italian ambassador at 
Paris, 235, 237, 245, 247. 

Toulon, 231. 

Trent, 84. 

Trentino, the, 73, 145, 146. 

Trieste, 84. 

Triple Alliance, the (1882-1915), see 

Triple Entente, the, 145, 148, 149, note, 

Tripoli, Tripolitania, 9, 49~54, 57 *> 67, 
69, 7i, 72, 74, 79, 92, 94, 99, 104, 106, 
116, 117, 118, note, 123, 124, 127, 129- 
132, 147, note, 150-172, 204, 227-259. 

Tschirschky und Bogendorff, Heinrich 
Leonard von, German secretary of 
state for foreign affairs (1906-07), 139, 
140, 141; ambassador at Vienna (from 
1907), 155, 161, 177, note. 

Tunis, Tunisia, 7, 9, 10, 37, 99, 157, 

Turkey, 50, 98, 100, 120, 123, 126, 140- 
172, 183-203, 227. See Balkan ques- 
tion, Ottoman Empire. 

Tyrol, the, 61, 70, 77, note, 135, 138. 

Valona, 144. 

Venetia, 16. 

Venice, conference between Bulow and 
Prinetti at (March, 1902), 127!"., 129, 
235 ; between Goluchowski and Tittoni 
at (1905), 137; between Victor Em- 
manuel III and William II at (1912), 
161 f., 165. 

Victor Emmanuel III (II), king of Italy 
(1900- ), 116, 118, note, 128, 129, 
131, 134, note, 143, 151, 152, 161 f., 
165, 166, 177, note, 179. 

Vienna, King Humbert's visit to (Febru- 
ary, 1881), 8; (October, 1881), n. 

Visconti-Venosta, Marquis Emilio, Ital- 
ian minister of foreign affairs (1896-98, 
and often), 114, 124, 136, note, 233, 
245, 249, 251, 253, 255. 

War party, the, in Austria-Hungary, 

i43 f- 
Wedel, Count, German ambassador at 

Rome (1899-1902), 123, 132, note. 
Wertheimer, Eduard von, 3, note. 
William I, German emperor (1871-88), 

5, 32, 38, 52, 81, note, 84, 183, 186, 




William II, German emperor (1888- 
1918), 88, 95, 116, 138, 140, 152, 161 f., 
165, 177, note, 206. 

William of Wied, prince (mprefi of 
Albania, 178. 

Wimpffen, Count, Austro-Hungarian 
ambassador at Rome, 9, note, 12, note, 
13, note, 16 f., 19, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27, 36. 

Wines, tariff on, 116, 124, 127. 

Woloczysk, 197. 

World War, the, 178 ff., 207, 229. 

Young Turk revolution, the (July, 1908), 

Zanardelli, Giuseppe, Italian premier 
(1901-03), n6f., 118, note, 131, 137, 



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